After so many years doing Project Life (see my thoughts on that), I was ready for something different this year.
I wanted a smaller printed book
I wanted to put whatever I felt like in it
I wanted it to be very personal to me
I wanted to be free of chronology and expectations
I wanted to have fun working on it
I wanted to make digital pages
I wanted a loose format to follow
I wanted it to turn into whatever it wanted to be
I wanted the reader to know me
I decided on a Blurb trade book at 6x9. I know the quality won't be as good as a regular photo book but I'm not bothered by that. I quite like the idea of something a bit more rough and imperfect for this project.
I started in December (can never wait for the new year when these ideas strike) with a blank 6x9 blank canvas in Photoshop and started making an introductory page. Then I made a page about some things I was enjoying right now, then another, then another. I think I made ten pages that first afternoon. I had no rules for what would be included, when I would work on it, or how long it would span. Sometimes you just need to try a few pages to see if the idea works for you - Beta testing if you will. I loved it. I also printed a few pages off just to see how the size looks, I like to do that when I'm working on a long project that won't be printed until the end.
It is not chronological and I just make pages when I feel like it. A random hodge-podge of things. I have some simple templates I use over and over with lots of white space and I have kept the fonts consistent so there is a cohesive look. It's now October and I have 115 individual pages saved. I have no plan of when to finish but I'm thinking of corralling everything in January and sending it off - I can always start another one.
There is a nice mix of things I am enjoying right now (TV, film, books, recipes), lists of favourite things, things I want to do, song lyrics I love, quotes that speak to me, pretty pictures, day to day photos. I think it's going to be a really special book (to me) when it's finished.
Most weekends I make a few pages and I find myself looking forward to it, it doesn't feel like a chore this year. I haven't abandoned my family's stories either - I am making a lot of 6x8 pages that tell those. I'm so looking forward to holding this little book in my hands.