Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time to get your pens and your pencils.

photo by signora oriente on flickr.

I don't know why it is but it seems like your own projects are always the hardest. And with all of the "best moment of your life" pressure involved with weddings I think it can grind your decision-making and clear-thinking to halt.

I'm sure I've said it before but designing my own wedding invitations was a process (to say the least) but as soon as I started for others-- it was a snap! Making decisions for other people (especially fictional ones) was so easy.

Lately I've been trying to spruce up my website and I feel like I'm in the same rut. I start a design, refine a million times, finally start to build it and -- meh-- then I don't like it anymore. I can spend DAYS going through websites for inspiration and collecting photos and looking through magazines and-- is this sounding familiar to anyone yet-- I feel like I'm in the same wedding planning rut.

So today I imposed a moratorium on searching and tried a trick from my Catholic Engaged Encounter Retreat (I know- shocking- but keep reading- it's not religious at all). At our retreat weekend we were constantly writing. The girls would stay in the conference room and the boys would go up to the hotel room and we'd write on a topic for 15 minutes. At first I remember thinking that there was no way I'd be able to write for 15 minutes solid but if you finished early chances were, you'd end up sitting in silence on a hard floor waiting for time to be up, which sucked. So I'd just keep free form writing and it was interesting to see where my mind would take me.

So today I got out on of my notebooks and gave myself 15 minutes to just write down everything I wanted my website to be. It's pretty messily jotted down and very questionable punctuation but my brain seems a little calmer. The road to follow a little clearer. So if you are stuck under a mountain of great ideas and variety routes to take grab yourself a pen and paper* and write for 15 minutes. No need for paragraphs or complete sentences- just go! And if you can write for 15 minutes without stopping-- why not make it 30! I think the secret is write past the point where you think you're done. Very scientific, I know. :)

*Yes, I really think a pen and paper is the way to go. I'm sure you can type faster than you can write but computers are just too distracting and chances are your couch is more comfy than your desk chair anyway.

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