What Stories Will You Tell?

What Stories Will You Tell? via aliedwards.com

I've been thinking a whole heck of a lot lately about words.

I actually started writing this post within my Week 10 Project Life® post until it became way too much for that post. In that post I ended up giving a few practical tips for adding more personal words to your PL spreads.

On Monday I shared my Around Here layout that included a whole lot of words.

It's not really something new, but something that keeps popping up as I work through current projects, plan future ones, and think about what matters most to me.

I remember when I taught a class years ago to scrapbook retailers at a trade show. The whole meat of my presentation was that we, as people in this industry, need to not only teach people how to work with products but we need to teach them how to tell stories with words.

Writing your story transcends products. It transcends trends. It's an activity that lives on beyond foam stamps and mists and stickers and layout sizes and owls and pineapples.

You can add words to scrapbook layouts whether you use a ton of product or just a little, whether you use Project Life® or traditional layouts or digital pages or an art journal.

I think we scrapbook because we have something to say and something to celebrate and something to learn about ourselves in the process. 

We say it through our photos, through the products we select, through the way we craft stuff together, and through the words we choose.

The thing about writing is it doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be grammatically correct.

It simply needs to come from your heart.

Sometimes it might be messy and sometimes it might be pointed and sharp. Sometimes it's conversational. Sometimes it's super clear and other times we might need to work through it a couple more times to make our intention clear. Sometimes it's a list of words, or paragraphs or a single word that encapsulates the whole thing.

I think we're often afraid to put those words down because they are the most personal piece of the combination of elements. We fear judgement, we fear getting it wrong, we fear it not mattering. We leave it to the last thing in our process of memory keeping.

Write how you feel. Write what you love. Write how you've changed and write how you're still the same. Write about that juicy piece of fruit and thanksgiving and that awesome bargain you got yesterday. Write about what hurts and what heals.

You can do this.

I'm someone who includes both long and short stories in my memory keeping adventures. I like the balance of the two because I love doing both and because I envision that someday down the road I'll love seeing the mix of the two together - well in reality I love looking back now at the layouts and projects I've done since 2002 and seeing both the crafty stuff and the words.

Truth be told, it's the longer stories paired with a photo or two and an embellishment or two that captivate me most and give me the most long-term happiness.

All that my friends, to encourage you too include a few more words in your projects. You can start with an extra sentence or sentiment here and there.

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