Scrapbook Your Writing Journey
If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the story an entire scrapbook could tell. As writers, we put our fingers to the keyboard to create masterpieces that will have editors and agents begging for more. Okay, maybe not.
Writers travel the writing road filled with potholes, roadblocks, and signs directing us. Imagine the stories we’d have if we scrapbooked those writing journeys.
As a former Creative Memories consultant, I’ve seen hundreds of stories being told in pictures. Each of these album makers share a common thread—passion for the craft and sharing their stories with others. Sound familiar?
Writers share a passion for the written word. Scrapbooks that depict your writing journey allow others to have a better understanding of what it means to be a writer and a better understanding of you.
When I write, my characters become real to me. I cry when they cry. I laugh when they laugh. I cheer when they reach their goals. Same with my real family. I’ve documented years of laughter, tears, successes, and yes, failures.
Scrapbooking isn’t gender-specific. Nor is it limited to preserving holiday photos, vacation pictures, or the wonderful milestones of your children or family pets. By scrapbooking your writing journey, you’re preserving memories for years to come. It’s time to move beyond the comfort zone of those beach vacation photos and open your heart for others to see what drives you.
Your scrapbook can be used as a promotional tool and displayed at your next book signing, writers conferences, and speaking engagements to share your journey with readers and fellow writers. Check with your accountant to see if your album can be written off as a business expense, especially if you use it as a promotional tool.
Anything that represents you as a writer should go in your scrapbook—rejection and acceptance letters, notes of encouragement, autographs from favorite authors, reservation cards, ticket stubs and other writers conference mementos, contest certificates, and finally photos.
Photos could include:
- your personal or favorite writing space like that cozy coffee shop where you can hide and write
- writers group meetings
- critique partners and colleagues
- book publication parties
- book signing events
- places you’ve visited for research
- authors and industry professionals whom you have met or inspired you
- friends you’ve met at conferences
- writers conferences
- writing students or clients, if you are an editor, agent, publicist, or other industry professional
- award banquets, especially if you have been nominated for an award
Consider motivational quotes on each page of your album. These words of wit and wisdom could be from favorite writers, famous people, Bible verses, definitions of favorite words, or even sentences from your own manuscripts. Add a snippet of dialogue from one of your favorite scenes.
Once you have gathered memorabilia for your album, head to a craft store to purchase supplies—an album and basic supplies—cutting tools, adhesive to attach your photos and memorabilia to the pages, assorted papers and stickers, and writing tools.
Invest in a quality album. They come in several styles, sizes, and colors. Check the manufacturer’s label to be sure the album is acid-free, lignin-free, and contains buffered pages. Acid found in paper products will discolor photos, causing them to become brittle and deteriorating your pages. The edges may appear cracked or ragged. Lignin is a natural pigment found in trees that causes photographs to yellow as they age. Buffered pages contain a photo-safe coating that allows the user to add photos and memorabilia on the same page without the acid from the memorabilia bleeding into the pictures.
Unless the manufacturer claims the album to be archival or photo-safe, avoid those magnetic albums where you pull back the plastic, slap your photos on the cardboard backing and press the plastic back in place. The plastic overlay often contains PVC—polyvinylchloride, a chemical that will cause pictures to age and deteriorate. Pictures encased in these albums tend to yellow and age at a more rapid rate.
If you’ve never scrapbooked, consider attending a workshop at your local craft store or search online for scrapbook sites to learn how to care for your photos, create album pages, and use the tools safely. Ask friends who scrapbook to lend a hand…and their tools to help you get started. Many magazines on the market are devoted to the craft of scrapbooking. Invest in a couple or borrow them from the library and see where your creativity takes you.
As writers, we never seem to run out of words. Journaling in your albums allows you to share your experiences with others. Journal about the highs and lows of a writer’s life, the turning points in your career, the feelings you experience from reading letters and reviews from readers, your future goals, career intimidations, trying to balance career and family, the feelings you experienced when your name was called for winning an award…or not called—anything that speaks from the heart of who you are.
Even though this is an ongoing project, consider setting aside time each day or each week to work on your album. You will be surprised how quickly you can create an album by spending fifteen-thirty minutes a day working on it.
When scrapbooking your journey, take time to savor the blank page. You’re not querying or submitting a proposal to seek anyone’s approval. This is all about you—a personal time of reflection and a tangible record of how far you’ve come in your journey. Each accomplishment represents another milestone along the way. Remember, writing is not arriving at a destination, but the journey you take along the way.
Bio: Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories that feature both comes naturally to her. She has been writing contemporary Christian romance for more than a decade. Her debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, will be released in November by Love Inspired. Her second novel, Lakeside Family, will be released in August 2012 by Love Inspired. Happily married for over twenty years, Lisa and her husband have two young adult sons. When she isn’t writing or caring for children in her in-home childcare business, Lisa enjoys family time, romantic comedies, good books, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. Visit her at www.lisajordanbooks.com to learn more about her writing.
Back cover copy: Bed-and-breakfast owner Lindsey Porter prays she won’t run into Stephen Chase when she returns to Shelby Lake. Five years ago, the cop jilted her to marry another woman, and Lindsey fled town. But no sooner does she hit city limits than Stephen pulls her over for a broken taillight. Despite the past, he’s still able to stir up Lindsey’s old feelings for him. Now a widower and single dad, Stephen recognizes a second chance when he sees one. And he’ll do anything to make Lindsey trust in God and take a risk for love—again. Read an excerpt of Lakeside Reunion
I’m holding a scavenger hunt and lakeside photo contest to promote my Lakeside Reunion release. Plus, blog commenters on my blog hop will be put in a drawing for fun prizes—breakfast basket, Love Inspired Authors basket, autographed copies of Lakeside Reunion. Visit my Lakeside Reunion Contest page for more information.
The token for this blog is a scrapbook.
Today Seekerville will be giving away a copy of Lakeside Reunion (print or Kindle) to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.