One of the hardest things to do is decide what your page will look like before you begin. Do you have the whole thing done in your head, or do you put in a few elements and see what happens. I am a little bit more of the second than the first. I start with a theme or idea. If I don't it will be a shambles. I lay down the background first, figure out what I want to do with the space, and lay out the central images. I then fill in details like shading and lettering for the message that I want to include. I almost always add shading around the outside to create a definite space. One of the problems of course is getting started on a page. The other problem is declaring the page finished. Some people can do it quickly, but my pages need some time to steep in my mind before I add the next element. This of course can lead to long periods of inactivity.
After months of inactivity we packed up the journalling studio and put it all away in buckets. A long time went by with occasional glances at the journal before I opened it to actually work in it again and when I did I just wanted to do something fast and easy to get me started. Wham/Pow. What could be faster than that. The next group of pages that I will be showing were done quickly. Without a permanent workspace/studio, I got in the habit of planning, painting, and finishing a piece in one sitting. Here is the results of my first piece after a year of inactivity in this book.