The latest Scrap Gals podcast was all about what motivates scrapbookers to share their work and what part outside validation plays in their lives. I started thinking about the reasons why I share my work—why am I sitting down right now typing this blog post? Why do I post my layouts in forums or on Facebook?
I started sharing my work online many years ago. I remember being so obsessed with scrapbooking that I wanted to be a part of the larger community. I joined several forums and was even on a small design team way back then. I was published one time in a special issue sketch book—probably the highlight of my early scrapbooking career. But why did I do it?
My scrapbooking career began with a life book I was creating for my oldest son for his adoption. This hobby began for me as a way to put these special memories in a tangible format for my growing family. Why would I want to share my pages with others?
At first, I think I simply wanted to connect with others who loved putting photos and paper together as much as I did. Slowly I began to seek the approval of others. I tried out for design teams and sent my layouts in for publication. Most of the time I was disappointed, but I did have a few moments of notoriety. Through all of this I was making friends in the scrapbooking world, which was fantastic.
Eventually I began to realize that I was making pages for the sole purpose of them being seen. I was not being true to myself or my scrapping style. I stepped away from most online scrappy places and began scrapping just for me again.
Since then my style has evolved and I now make pages that I love AND that I want to share. What is different now? Well, I am much more experienced. I have hundreds of pages and projects done. So I feel that I can be inspiration to someone out there who may be just starting out. I also miss connecting with other scrapbookers. Can I make a page just for me? Sure—I do it all the time. The best part of scrapbooking is when my children (now teenagers) pull out one of my albums and look back over our early years.
And my sharing these days is not so much to get validation that my layouts are good, it is more of celebrating the fact that there are still those of us out there who are obsessed with this art.