I am at a transition point in my life, moving into the ’empty nest’ phase and wanted to capture the changes that were happening to my little family. . . . and to me. I’ve always documented in some way or another, but this year I wanted to be more intentional in the process, more present and aware. So I decided to begin Project Life, a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins.
Instead of week to week, which seems to be the format of choice for most, I chose to document month by month. I just know how I work and knew week to week would be too difficult to keep up. I also didn’t want to be locked into a format that was so strictly time based. That’s the beauty of the system though, you can make it work for you.
Today I’m sharing part of my January pages. This is my cover page.
Tip: It is your set up. Just as in your novel, the cover page lets the viewer see the ‘before’, the ordinary world. I’ve introduced all the major players – my three kids and me. The first five or so pages of a novel sets the tone, mood, type and scope of your story.
This page was just some pics that I loved. I cheated on the first two pages by using photos that were not from the year 2014, but I figured no one would know in fifty years but me (and all of you).
Tip: Remember, you’re doing this to make you happy. Use pictures that give you joy. Just as in your writing, you want to write the story that YOU want to read.
This page is my goal page. Being the born list maker that I am, I’ve divided life into eight categories and wrote goals for each one. I thought this would make me more accountable in that I must address the progress or completion at some point before or by December 31st.
TIP: The main character’s goals must be stated or alluded to early on in your novel. By the end of the first chapter, the reader wants to know what the point is.
This is just a close up of my insert cards. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go back and mark which goals were finished at the end of the year or redo a goals page with completions on its own.
This is my ‘currently’ page. I want one for each month. I decided to make the writing picture an 8X8 since this is the main focus for this year. I will need the reminder.
I love the look of layered pages. I also felt like I needed this card to visually break up the space and be a transition to the next page.
The back side. Can you tell I love the look of 4X4 pictures?
The insert above is for the single page layout that follows. I didn’t want to clutter up the full page layout with all the info, so hid it away here. I thought it was important for generations to come to know who these people are and how they are related to one another. (The genealogist in me showing.)
My lovely mom, sister and great-nephew. We are on opposite coasts and I miss them terribly. They are the hole in my very nice life.
TIP: Speaking of holes: everybody has one or at least should if they are starring in your story. In the beginning of your story, your job is to show the reader the ‘before’ picture of your character, your character as they are before the call to adventure or journey or return with the elixir. (If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I command you to get a copy of The Writer’s Journey by Chris Vogler immediately). This is the beginning of your character arc. From this point forward they will be moving toward a becoming a heroic presence. Part of the set up includes telling the reader what is missing from their lives, what is the hole they carry around inside them? During the set up, one of your characters will speak this fact to the main character; they will tell them whatever ‘truth’ they need to hear, but the main character is not in a place to understand it.
I’m finding my pace and am having fun with it as the frustrated artist in me is slowly escaping. Hoped you enjoyed the post. Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to join me on Facebook!