100 day project

today begins the 100 day project on instagram.  there are so many challenges on instagram to choose from and i’m tempted by many of them.  i’ve joined along in a few and while the projects themselves were fun, the best part was joining in the community and sharing.  the 100 day project by definition is “a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making”.    it’s not meant to focus on completing projects so much as it is meant to encourage makers to commit to the process every day for 100 days.  last night i spent too much a lot of time browsing through many of the commitments…so inspiring…but also a bit overwhelming!  the majority seem to focus on creating art by way of sketching, drawing, painting and illustrating.

since i don’t draw, unless you are a fan of lopsided stick figures, i have decided to join in, but with a bit of variation.  to spark creativity, appreciation and gratitude i will spend at least 30 minutes every day for the next 100 days engaged in some sort of creative process, and write each day in a gratitude journal.  since my business is a creative one you’d think this would be a simple thing to accomplish.  not always!  there are days that are consumed by my “day job”, some that require paperwork or emails, shipping or research.

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so, 30 minutes minimum per day.  maybe that means knitting socks or baby sweaters (i have a few to make!), sewing (either for myself or others, but NOT for work), maybe some physical activity to spur the creative juices, and it may be as simple as getting outside and enjoying (really noticing) the details of nature.  hey, i may even try my hand at sketching something!  moving deliberately with eyes wide open to the things that normally are taken for granted.  and each day i will write in my gratitude journal, listing at least 3 things that i’m grateful for….from the sound of my windchimes to the wind breeze that is blowing winter away and bringing in spring.  this beautiful journal (a gift from my sister) still has plenty of room left, and georgous handmade paper pages.

i know myself well enough to know that i’ll never keep up with posting each day on instagram, but i will try to make an occasional entry, and some of my days i will share here on the blog. it’s a commitment to self and i invite you to join with me.  100 days…who knows how it may change my outlook and my creative ventures.

join in, and tell me what you plan to do for 100 days.  cook? draw? sew? hike?  it’s the process.

Something sensational to read on the train

I get a huge kick out of Oscar Wilde.  We discussed The Importance of Being Earnest last night at the book club I help run at the library.  It was the first time I’d read it since high school and it has only gotten funnier with time.  One of the things that struck me this time was the way that diaries were used by the female characters to corroborate their stories and to daydream.

Oscar Wilde quote

 

When I was in middle school I kept a diary pretty faithfully for a couple years (the entries are hilarious now).  I flirted with journaling here and there in high school, and I blogged a bit in college along with starting paper and pen journals, writing in them for a bit and then abandoning them.

My mom is awesome about journaling.  When I was pregnant for Jack she gave me the journals she kept when I was little (she also gave me the notebook she used to keep track of my feedings/ poopings/ general disposition.  She was a lot more organized about that than I was – I think I wrote that stuff down for about two seconds after my boys were born.  My mom kept that stuff going until I was a year old.  Impressive.)

I have a “mother’s journal” that I write in when I remember (flurries here and there with six month breaks in between), but I want to be better about it because it was really special to me to know what my mom was doing and thinking when I was a baby and I would love to be able to share that with my kids.

So I’m asking you – do you keep a diary or journal?  What tips do you have for actually doing it?  Every time I sit down to write it either takes me two hours just to catch up and then I don’t get around to writing what I meant to or I fall into just listing events without ever writing anything interesting.

My favorite journal entries have been the ones where I had a couple uninterrupted hours in which to write.  (My very favorite, about Jack’s birth, was written when he was about a month old and my sister offered to watch him for a few hours so that I could go to the coffee shop and decompress.  Bliss.)  I seldom have that kind of time, so thoughtful journal entries are seldom written.  My aunt had the clever idea of keeping a calendar by each kid’s door and writing a cute thing they did or said on that day’s date, then keeping the calendars as memory books.  Has anybody tried that?  What else has worked for you?  Somebody teach me to journal!

-Elizabeth