For the last week, I’ve been taking part in a teaching workshop. During that time, we were asked to share and edit each other’s work. It’s not easy, handing your work over to a peer to look at and give comments on. On the flip side, it’s not easy to make constructive comments about the work of your peers. While it’s not easy from any angle, working with my peers to edit and improve my work.
It got me to thinking.
In digital scrapbooking, how often do we work together as peers to improve our work? Sure, in paper scrapbooking we can go to crops and sit and scrapbook with others and ask their opinion, but in digital scrapbooking, is that really possible? Sure, we have chat rooms and forums…but it’s not easy for us to get together and share our work in real-time.
Does it really matter?
I’m not totally sure. I mean, yes, we can work on our scrapbooking layouts on our own and never ask any of our peers for their opinion or assistance. I would argue, though, that we are doing ourselves a disservice. While it may be hard to do, and we may not always feel comfortable, getting the opinion of the people around us almost always helps us improve our work. In the training, we were asked to write paragraphs evaluating a teaching experience. I consider myself a good writer, and was comfortable with the product I had in front of me. However, after talking about the piece with another peer, I had many different ideas to add to the product, or to make improvements on. The bottom line is this…after having my peer edit my work, my work was better. Could this also work with our scrapbooking layouts?
You bet it can.
In fact, I ask for opinions and help all the time. In my digi life, I have a trusted friend and peer that I always turn to for opinions on my work. In fact, we often ask each other opinions about our layouts. What does that look like? It’s not what you think. I don’t “turn in” my layout and have my friend give me a written critique about it. More often than not, it’s us talking on Yahoo Messenger, sharing screenshots of our work. We ask questions like “Which paper looks better?” or “What’s missing from this layout?” Almost 100% of the time, I take the advice I am given and I am always happier with how the layout turns out. Could I have made a layout that I was happy with on my own? Sure. The layout that I end up with after working with my friend I always like better.
Do you ask for help when you are creating your layouts? If so, how do you go about doing it? If not, what’s holding you back?