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Friday Design: Inspirations and Sabbaticals

August 11, 2017

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope your week has been going well and you have a lovely weekend planned. I’m working through the final pages of proofs for my book and looking forward to seeing some friends and recharging my design inspiration batteries this weekend. To that end, I want to share some resources for inspiration (as usual) and some thoughts on sabbaticals (as promised) today.

First the inspiration. I love these monthly posts for design inspiration from Smashing Magazine. This month’s one I find especially inspiring in terms of color palettes. With the end of summer just another turn of the calendar away, I’m itching to create some bright new designs for my library so we can keep the summer vibe even with the school year starting.

Also, if you need some typography or lettering reads, check out the list over at The Well-Appointed Desk for suggestions. I find endless inspiration looking at great type and lettering. I hope you do, too.

Now, some thoughts on sabbaticals. I was super-excited to be awarded a sabbatical during last year in the fall quarter. This meant that, with adding in vacation time, I was able to be “out of the office” from mid-September until we started the winter quarter in January of this year. To say it was a fantastic experience was an understatement. In the words of one of my dear friends, it freakin’ rocked! I finally caught up on rest and was able to be so productive. I wrote, edited, and illustrated my book that is coming out this fall during that time. (Obviously copyediting, proofing, and layout came later, but the bulk of my work was done on sabbatical.) I was able to do all that, plus hang out more with my husband and friends, have time to walk and hike, participate in NaNoWriMo, and travel. Oh, and there were almost daily naps. I miss my naps.

Sabbaticals, contrary to some misconceptions, are not about getting paid not to work. They’re about having the headspace and time to tackle big projects that can’t get done (or can’t get done well in a reasonable amount of time) during the regular work schedule. So, once every 7 years, there is the possibility of a sabbatical. It’s not a guarantee at my university that you’ll get one just because you’re eligible, but you can apply for one. I’m already thinking about what audacious projects I could do if I were awarded another sabbatical and how I’ll possibly wedge in writing more books before then.

What my sabbatical taught me is what I really love about my work as an academic librarian, what really drives me and inspires me and what totally drains me. It was clarifying for me and also allowed me to be a whole lot less stressed than usual, which I think everyone in my life appreciated. Trying to bring this knowledge to bear on how I work while at the library is still a work in progress, but I’m hoping to be more balanced and able to move forward on projects (especially in graphic design) as we go into the next academic year.

So what’s this have to do with anything? Well, I hope you enjoy reading my finished book that came together during my sabbatical. I hope that you’re able to find ways to carve out space to do things that inspire you, even if sabbaticals aren’t an option. I hope you (and me and everyone) can maintain our joy in what we love to do so we can continue to make progress in whatever work inspires us, even if it won’t be progressing as fast as if we had whole days to devote to it. Plus, if you ever get a chance to apply for a sabbatical, take it. It really can be amazing.

Finally, just for fun, if you missed the hilarious Twitter exchange between Sam Sykes and Chuck Wendig, please do yourself a favor and read it. It will make you laugh out loud…When Authors Talk on Twitter: Slasher Movie Edition.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of inspiration and relaxation. I’ll be back soon with more design news and notes (maybe even book updates). Allons-y!

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