Taking a break, sort of, in June.
Above: Paper towel from a painting session. Aren't they interesting to look at? I like to scan them and then import them into digital images I'm working on in Photoshop. They add great texture and color.
June is a month filled with deadlines for me, as well as one personal deadline that must be addressed. While I hate on many levels to write this post and make it so, I am taking a (sort of) break from my blog in June (and perhaps the early bit of July) in order to address these deadlines. I love blogging so much (as I explained in my recent post, "Why Blog") that I know I will miss it terribly. I have also enjoyed watching the readership numbers increase. Part of me wants to simply keep pushing with the blog, but I know there are only so many hours in the day. I've written enough about conscious choices and I had to make one.
Of course I couldn't go cold turkey, or leave so many dedicated readers to go cold turkey. That's why I've said I'm taking a "sort of break."
I do appreciate the kind notes and questions that you all have sent in since I started the blog in October 2008. I'm particularly thrilled with the notes telling me that I have given you the push to start keeping a visual journal and even to start making books. Some of you have even traveled to Minnesota to be part of my book arts classes and I'm honored and grateful that you have made that effort.
So to help us both through the next several weeks I've set up some posts that draw on items I have on my website. When I started my website I began a "journals" section where I posted images from my visual journals. After I started the blog I stopped updating the selections on my website, but there are items in those selections that I think are of interest, especially to my blog readers who haven't yet found my website, RozWorks.
Some Transitional Aid: Searching for Information on Roz Wound Up
Additionally I've put a search engine on the blog. You will find it in the left column, just below the category cloud. (Let me know if you find the "popular searches" feature which has the effect of creating it's own category cloud, is interesting or helpful to you or distracting. I'm still deciding.) I don't know how useful this will be and whether it will take you away from the blog to other material I have no control over, or if it will help you find what you want here at Roz Wound Up, but I really needed to try to install some sort of search engine.
I actually held a contest in June 2009 to find a useful search engine: Help Roz Help You. Rhomany wrote in to suggest Ligit. I looked at other suggestions as well. Then I got caught up in other matters and the project languished. Earlier this spring I contacted Rhomany again about this search engine and decided to give it a go. (I sent her the prize book.)
Even though I keep a list of what I've written about, and even though you can search by title and keyword in Typepad, there are times when I haven't been able to find what I wanted to find in my own blog! What has worked for me is using a Google Search set up like this: "rozwoundup", "item or keyword that I'm searching for"
The quotation marks help keep the search on my blog, and I've found it a useful technique. If the Ligit widget doesn't work for your searches of my blog, and the categories I've provided in the category list each have too many entries, and you don't remember the month of the post (so the archives aren't useful) you might give that a shot.
For instance enter in Google Search "rozwoundup", "gouache palette"
You will get search results on Google which include Project 640 Tubes: Selecting a Gouache Palette, as well as Fun of the Best Kind: Work—Choosing a Palette. Since I typically link to other related posts within a new post, a quick scan of the post that comes up will also give you some link options. You might even find things you weren't looking for that you find interesting. I hope so. I like to think that new readers find the information and put it to use in their art and journaling and regular readers return to things they find valuable.
What To Expect for Schedule
I've set up posts that appear once a week, on Mondays. I hope that you'll regularly check in on that day. These posts will relate to material found on my website and discuss something I did in a given journal and encourage you to try something similar or consider some related issue. I think this approach will be a useful way to maintain the dialog we have begun together. Experienced journal keepers can enjoy the posts from a perspective of seeing what someone else has tried. New journal keepers can enjoy those posts as suggestions for experiments they can actually try in their efforts to establish a stronger journaling habit.
Will I be posting on other days? As time allows I will post short items about events or things I'm up to. These will appear randomly throughout the week. Some weeks there may be no additional posts.
Please Forgive Delays on Comment Processing
I'm trying to set up my comments section to post without my moderating input—but the one day I tried this I got some very odd spam that makes me leery of this. So please be patient if you post a comment and it doesn't pop up right away, or even within a day. There may be times when I don't get to the computer for two or three days at a time.
Your comments are very important to me and I hope to continue receiving them and answering them!
Beyond June (and July?) 2010
My plan for the future of this blog is that I will return to almost daily posting after this brief hiatus. Let's face it, I like daily projects. And more than one class of students has exclaimed in unison: "Tell us what you really think about something Roz."
We never know what will happen, however. Life has a habit of taking us on little side paths that seem like detours and then turn out to be the main event. In a way this blog became a much bigger part of my life than I expected when I started it. It has been a very fun adventure. One that has dovetailed nicely with my passions. I look forward to continuing it with all of you. I hope you'll join me during the hiatus, and beyond.
Let's Get a Jump on the Monday Post Thing
It's Tuesday, and rather than wait until next Monday, let's jump right in.
I've written about keeping one journal or many journals at various times on this blog. I tend to prefer keeping one visual journal and one written journal. The main exception for me at one time was my nature journal, and you can see some examples here.
The first four images in this selection are nature subjects that were in my regular visual journal. I'd already consolidated the nature journal into the visual journal. The rest of the images in that selection were in a variety of books kept exclusively for the purpose of journaling about nature-related subjects.
You can read about my journal of keeping one journal, then many, then basically one again in my post—Stats: A Yardstick for Planning and Assessing.
For me, one of the biggest benefits of having only one visual journal going at a time is that there is less to carry around. You don't have to stop and think "What if I stop at the river and want to sketch Geese, I'd better take that journal too." Besides that, my life is my life, one continuous stream.
But where do you fall on the issue of one or more journals? Does it work for you? Is it a constant juggle? Do you have to change your mental gears (and is that part of the pleasure of it)? Or are you starting to feel bogged down with lots of journals going, but nothing filling up?
Or maybe when you fragmented your journals you actually used that break up as an excuse to not do some aspect of your life any more and that's the journal that's languishing? What if you folded that orphan into your main journal again. Scary? But good?
Read the links I've given you this week and think about how you use your journal(s). Remember your journal works for you—not the other way around!
(p.s. remember, I want to hear all of your comments, it just might take me some time to moderate and get them posted. See you next Monday.)