The Best Version

We’ve moved into 2017 and have said goodbye to a challenging 2016. This is traditionally the time to figure out what you want to do with yourself moving forward. Those resolutions generally form themselves around losing weight or educating yourself. I have more specific ideas surrounding what I want.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Late in 2016, I took a day job that doesn’t offer artistic endeavors as part of what the company does. I don’t consider that a bad thing because I’m able to continue to help support my family but it does make me long for creative outlets. When I first started working when I was 16, creativity has always been part of my job description. With that amount of history, creative ideas come from a faucet that cannot be turned off. For the people around me, that means it’s going to come into your life in a big way when I’m around.

In accordance with my itchy shutter finger, when you encounter me henceforth, you will see my camera. Not just the bag, but the actual gear. Before now I avoided being that guy who would make it a point to photograph everything and everyone because I didn’t like how people reacted when the lens was pointed at them. There’s always too much pre-primping and “if it’s ugly, delete it,” type statements

Now, because I need to, I’ll photograph everything. Most of those pictures won’t see the light of day, but I need the outlet. That means I will not stop til you get your lips on or get your hair together. If my camera is pointed in your direction, I see something in that moment even if your mouth is not as glossy as you’d like.

Don’t get me wrong. If you’re paying me for photographs, you can have whatever you like. When you’re a paying customer, I want to capture the best version of you. On the other hand, when the pictures are for me, I should have whatever I like. Being a creative isn’t what I do, it’s who I am.

WRITING

Along those same lines, paying freelance writing outlets are disappearing. Plenty of people read blogs and articles and the demand for new content is ever increasing, but the people writing them are getting paid less than $5 per piece and that number continues to decline. When I wrote for a large Louisville website, I got $7 per article, which is still a piddilance, but I parlayed it into game access for University of Louisville sports and major artist concerts. I considered the trade-off worth it.

But when I looked into possibly increasing how much I could earn from my writing, I discovered that it’s incredibly difficult to do. Despite the previously mentioned demand for new content, making money from it doesn’t happen anymore. The internet has made it incredibly easy to get your writing out there, bypassing the gatekeepers that kept a lot of authors out of the process. The internet has also depressed the value of the writing itself for a variety of reasons.

Rather than fight the trend, I’ve decided to create the content for myself. As mentioned in regard to photography, if you are a creative, you create and in this avenue, my writing will mostly appear here. So if you see me pounding away on my phone, thumbs a-blur, that means I have an idea in my head that I have to get out. It will look like furious texting, I know, but I can’t stop the ideas, nor do I want to.

PEACE

And by getting those ideas out of my head, most which won’t see the light of day just like those photos I plan on making, I hope to bring peace within myself. I want to increase my mindfulness practice. It will help me quiet my mind during meditation. I look forward to concentrating on breath rather than trying to figure out how to get my protagonist out of a jam. Both are important. But both need to go in separate places and be explored at separate times. Don’t be alarmed if I’m silent. I’m just getting myself together.

How are you going to become the best version of you?

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