Embrace the process
The following blog documents my journey through a 21-day traveling journal project, a great exercise in generating spontaneous (but informed) designs based on a theme. Throughout this entire project you will notice time and date stamps: this was a result of the grand focus being on the representation of time and movement. Within that larger theme, each individual book had a different focus and traded hands of each student in the class.
(Tip: Look at the older posts first to better see the process unfold)
Not quite knowing where this project would take me, I took photos of each of my designs along the way. Sometimes it is necessary to continue to work with content in a variety of ways in order to see which is going to generate useful and meaningful results. I also forced myself to improve my photography skills (not sure that happened) by limiting myself to the 'first shot' . . . in other words, I did not try to perfect my photographs of each design, but rather learned from my mistakes and embraced the results regardless of their imperfections.
See thephoto documentation
When I received my completed book (with the theme of "what do you want to (re)present?"), I also documented the designs that my colleagues contributed. You can see the final version here: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~atank/journals/ Even this piece is just a starting point for another project or could be useful purely as inspiration.
So, get started brainstorming, sketching, photocopying, collaging. . . whatever it is that speaks to the theme of "-MADE"!