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One Day at a Time

September 30, 2010

This month has not gone the way I had thought.  Besides getting sick twice in September, which seriously slows a person down, I’ve been struggling with some creative issues. More specifically, a bit of a creative block. It’s become the elephant in the room with me. I know it’s there but I refuse to acknowledge it and do just about anything I can to avoid confronting it.  And believe me, there have been plenty of distractions. The new tv season started so all of my shows are now back on with new episodes. Some of my favorite video games just came out with new downloadable content, so that has to be played. And of course there is also the internet and all the many twists and turns it can take me on that actually get me no where.

This all combines to make September feel like a bit of a write-off, creatively speaking.

Of course, the fact that it’s been a write-off makes me want to just curl up into a ball under a blanket and hope the world goes away and I can stop feeling bad about not being creative.  But we all know that wouldn’t get me anywhere.

So I took a book out of the library about photography. It’s called “Single Exposures: Random Observations on Photography, Art and Creativity” by Brooks Jensen, who is the editor of LensWorks, a gorgeous looking fine art photography magazine. The book is inspired by podcasts that Brooks started doing for the LensWorks website back in 2004.  He talks about all kinds of things from photography in a digital age, marketing your photos, the creative muse, the history of photography in America, and so much more. All of it divided into nice little sections that take maybe 3-5 minutes to read. Just enough to get your brain turning.

I’ve found it incredibly inspiring. It’s giving me a kind of connection to photography and art that I haven’t felt in years (not since I was in art school, and even then it wasn’t focused on photography very much).  Much of what he says in the book is still churning around in my head, but one thing that he keeps going back to over and over is the importance of doing something photography focused (or art or writing or whatever) every day. Even if it’s just for a bit.

This concept is nothing new, but the way he describes it shows it to me in a whole new light. He talks about he can’t expect himself to go out on the weekend and shoot great photos if he hasn’t done any photography during the week. He describes it like an athlete training for a big competition. Your body can’t go from 0-60 instantly, and neither can your mind and creativity. They need to warm up, to be engaged and ready, so that when the big opportunities come you don’t find that you’re out of shape.

I feel like I’ve read this at just the right time, because as creatively devoid as September has been, October has some events and things happening that I want to be in shape for.  So I’m breaking out of my creative slump, one day at time, taking photos everyday and warming up my brain. I can already feel the winds changing, the ideas coming, and the creativity starting to bubble and flow. Let me tell you, I feel like a new woman.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Marlie permalink
    September 30, 2010 2:48 pm

    Your photo is lovely, please tell me where in Vancouver you were able to buy the macarons? I have been looking everywhere for them and I can’t find them

  2. Ashley Erin permalink*
    September 30, 2010 2:53 pm

    The Macarons are from Thomas Haas. There is two locations, one in Kits and one on the North Shore. They are AMAZING! Go there and get some STAT!

  3. September 30, 2010 3:16 pm

    This sounds like a great book, and I’m surely glad you’re feeling better.

  4. Marlie permalink
    September 30, 2010 4:12 pm

    I live on the North Shore, I went to Thomas Haas and didn’t find them. I am going to have to walk there on my lunch hour and ask them. Or at least find out when they have them so I can get them. Thanks Ashley!

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