My family would probably be the first to tell you that I am a notorious paper-hoarder. Physical objects usually end up in the “donate to Goodwill” pile at some point, but I still have movie ticket stubs from 2012 for some reason. Eight years ago. And I assure you that’s not the oldest paper product in my possession.
At one point, I wanted to cover an entire wall of my bedroom with corkboard, or some equivalent. I insisted that it could be done. My parents told me I needed to calm down and got me to settle for three large bulletin boards, which did just as well.
And then I went to college. Obviously, I could not take all of my ticket stubs and theatre programs and postcards with me. It was a real shame too, because the walls in our dorm rooms came equipped with corkboards.
Anyone who’s ever written anything has probably sat down in front of their computer or notebook, all set to write, when they suddenly realize there’s a big problem – they’ve got nothing. All the ideas decided to flee the country as soon as they saw that blank page.
The typical solution is to just start writing anyway, even if it’s slow and painful at first. Even if you have to force the words out of your brain and onto the page, before you know it, writer’s block is a thing of the past.
At least, that’s usually what happens. But when writer’s block comes back day after day and the thought of sitting down to create something makes you feel hollow instead of joyful, it might be time to consider a different approach.
Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about bullet journaling, which, if you’ve never heard of it before, is an organization system that combines planners, to-do lists, ideas, and many other things. People who have bullet journals use them for all sorts of things, from keeping track of their health, writing down ideas, or just making fun pages like you would with scrapbooking.
I began my bullet journal in late 2016, and so I’ve been doing it for just over a year now. I still have the same journal (well, sort of), and I’ve been filling my pages quite a lot in the past year. Since my last bullet journaling post is almost a year old now, I figured today would be a good time to give you an update. Plus, I want to show how my journal has grown in the last year!
Have I talked about crafting here before? Well, surprise, I really love crafting. Now, I can’t crochet or knit or anything, but I can use a sewing machine and Mod Podge so I think that gives me at least some authority on the subject. Anyway, I used to hand-make a lot of the gifts I gave to people, for a couple of reasons: 1) they felt more personal, 2) it was usually cheaper, and 3) it was something to do when I wasn’t doing school anymore.
With school and finals and all of that fun stuff, I didn’t get the chance to go out and buy craft supplies to make anything this year, but I still wanted to share some of my favorite handmade gifts I’ve made. I don’t have any pictures of what I’ve made myself (see: computer issues), but I’ll link to the tutorials and also list some tips I have from my own experience.
On to the crafts!
UPDATE 12/16/16 – There are now pictures of what I’ve made coupled with the tutorials!
If you’ve ever been in a high school English class, your teacher probably asked a question to the effect of “What is the theme of [insert piece of fiction here]?” The theme, or message, of a story is the driving force behind the narrative. It gives the story depth. Often, this message isn’t extremely obvious. The best storytellers are able to craft their stories in such a way that the theme isn’t overbearing, yet still has an effect on the audience.
Unfortunately, many creators fail to do that.
I’ve seen it in movies, books, TV shows, you name it. The writer sacrifices creating strong, quality content in order to share a message, and because of that, the message suffers. In reality, a writer should be able to do both – create a quality story with a strong message. However, that’s easier said than done.
So where does that leave the writers? We should be striving to create stories with meaning, of course, but how do we do that? It’s a daunting task, and one that’s not easy to explain how to do. Even so, I’ve tried to come up with a few Do’s and Don’ts for creating stories with meaning.