May 14, 2012

Getting Creative to “Find a Friend”

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The first time I signed up for a blogging event, one that stipulated I blog every day for a month, I succeeded. Since then though, every time I sign up for any sort of blog-everyday-for-however-long event, things unravel quickly. Most recently, and most lamely, I signed up for WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge in April, and completed a total of zero posts. I knew going into it that I wouldn’t be able to blog every day, but I had thought I could at least do a few days. Not impressive, I know, unless you’re impressed by complete hang-my-head-in-shame failure.

Blogging everyday for a month is clearly not for me, but blogging every day for a week is something I think I can manage, and potentially accomplish, so I signed up for the 3rd annual D-Blog Week, which starts today. D-Blog Week is organized by my dear DOC friend, Karen at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes. I love to support my DOC buddies (especially Karen!), and I love how D-Blog Week is a great opportunity to connect and share above and beyond the usual DOC activity.

Today’s prompt is as follows:

It seems the most popular thing about Diabetes Blog Week is that it helps us find blogs we weren’t reading yet and connect with some new blog friends. With that in mind, let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by making some new connections. Think about the d-blogs you read that you think we may not know about and introduce us to one that you love!! Let’s all find a new friend today!

Needless to say, one of the reasons I haven’t been completing blogging events is that I don’t blog much anymore. I’ve transitioned the focus of my online diabetes advocacy work to Diabetes Art Day and the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange, partly because I don’t have much to say anymore that I haven’t already said, and partly because I think those are more unique ways I can contribute to the DOC. I like having this space to write an occasional post when I feel inspired though, as I did yesterday, but I can’t do this regularly anymore, and won’t even pretend otherwise. I’m really grateful that some people still like to pop by and read when I do post though because even though I don’t say much here, it’s nice that people are still willing to listen.

Unfortunately, my D-blog reading has become almost as disappointing as my D-blog writing. In my experience, twitter is the best way to discover new blogs, but my tweet action is sporadic. I join #dsma chats when I’m able, but it’s very infrequent that I pop on just to tweet it up. What can I say? Twitter is a lot of work, and when I used it effectively, if you want to call it that, it was a massive time sink. I simply can’t do that anymore which means I’m not “meeting” new DOC’ers like I once did, and I’m not discovering new D-blogs.

I’m not even good at staying on top of the blogs I used to read regularly. My system for blog-reading these days generally relies on people posting links on Facebook. If there’s a link to a blog post in my newsfeed that catches my eye, I’ll go read it. I know it means I miss a lot of great blogs, so it’s far from perfect, but my “Facebook system” works for me better than driving myself nuts trying to read every single diabetes blog. As you can imagine though, my system is not especially conducive to finding new blogs.

So it comes down to this. I don’t have a diabetes blog friend to share with you, at least not one you don’t already know. Maybe I’ll discover some this year as a result of D-Blog Week that I’ll be able to share with you next year. For now, I’m going to go a little rogue, and share some fun art-making blogs with you. I know that’s not the assignment, but perhaps you’ll find some inspiration there, inspiration that you can use to help you with your Diabetes Art Day project or your World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange postcard (it’s never too early to start!). If you ever have the opportunity to do creative projects with kids, maybe you’ll find some ideas to have a fun art-a-palooza. Maybe you’ll get inspired to do something creative just for the sake of your own personal creative growth. Maybe you’ll have a diabetes-themed spark of creativity that you’ll share with me so I don’t feel quite so terrible about taking liberties with the D-Blog Week prompt today.

PaintCutPaste and PaintCutPaste on Facebook:
A super neat website by an art therapist and mom who shares art projects that are fun for kids and adults. From her site:

“my initial goal for this site is to share with parents, caregivers, and teachers various ideas for creative activities to do with kids. as this blog grows, it expands to include ideas to nurture the creative drive that lives within each of us, as well… our kids help us to remember how much fun playing with art can be, and sometimes it’s fun to take your turn with the paintbrush or sewing needles! i hope this site brings you and yours inspiration and plenty of beautiful paint cut paste messes!”

Art Journaling as a Creative Process and Art Journaling as a Creative Process on Facebook:
This site hasn’t been updated in about 6 months, but the posts conveying the benefits and describing techniques of art journaling are timeless. Have a look through the archive, and discover the true magic of this art form. I love this site, and offer it as a resource to the students in my Intro to Art Therapy course, so now I suggest it to you too. As a bonus, most of the techniques are very adaptable to postcard-making… just sayin’…

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6 Responses to “Getting Creative to “Find a Friend””

  1. Mike Hoskins says:

    There are so many blogs these days, it’s impossible to keep up. While I am doing my best to stay active, much of it starts out with those from memory just wanting to go check. Then, when there’s time, I rely on Google Reader to point me to those that have been written. I do it daily, but there’s so many more blogs out there. Love seeing your posts, Lee Ann. Hope all is well on your end!

  2. Heather says:

    I can’t wait to check out these sites! And I just remembered I’ve been meaning to email you about a gallery…

  3. Kelly Booth says:

    It is very hard to keep up with all the blogs out there. I am really glad that you do stuff like Diabetes Art Day and the Postcard Exchange. Thanks to Google Reader, I know when you do decide to put a new blog up and as long as I am able, I will keep reading!

  4. shannon says:

    thanks for the links! i’m happy when i see a new post from you pop up but i’m glad to know the reason you’re not on here more often is b/c your creative efforts are focused on those other projects you mentioned, which i am a huge fan of! :)

  5. Meri says:

    I appreciate all your efforts within the community! And thanks for the links!

  6. Heather says:

    Have you seen the 5.18 post at Paint Cut Paste? The bravery cards might be the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen! Need to make some for myself.

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