Sketchbook #5

At the beginning of the year (and when did it get so late in the year?!), I came up with a list of my plans for 2015. The specifics of those plans have changed a little with time, but in a broad sense, I’ve been doing well.

I’ll go into more detail later (like, in a couple of months… it might be almost October, but it’s far too early for a year-in-review), but I’ve been thinking about two of my goals, and how they interact with one another, quite a bit lately.

MAYBE Think About Writing That Thing

A few months ago, I started writing fiction again. It wasn’t ‘That Thing’ that I was thinking about at the beginning of the year, but I was having fun with it, and not driving myself too crazy.

Until I wasn’t.

It wasn’t like 2014, when I hated every word I wrote, and hated the process of writing it. The work I did this year is some of the best writing I’ve ever produced, and I’m still proud of it. But it was like a switch flipped a few weeks ago, and all of a sudden, I was done. With that story, and, for now, with writing fiction.

And, unlike 2014, I am really ok with that.

I’m not stressing out about it. I’m not wondering what I’m going to do with myself. It was a hobby, rather than an identity, and setting it aside for a while (or longer) is no big deal. I have reasons, most of which are weirdly personal, or just weird (and I’m not going to go into here. Sorry.) But one of the reasons relates to another one of my plans for the year:

Focus On Photography

The beginning of the year… wasn’t great when it comes to photography. There was a lot of stuff going on that got in the way, and I wasn’t able to tackle a couple of the projects I had planned. And I suspect that that’s part of the reason I started writing again—it was a creative outlet to fill the space that wasn’t being filled by photography. (I’m still drawing, and that’s starting to feel like it’s going really well—I’m still not where I want to be, of course, but I can see improvement—but that’s always been a side project and meets different needs.)

The last few months, though, I’ve been able to devote more attention to photography. And the more I’ve been able to focus on photography, the more I’ve wanted to focus on it. I always used to say that the more I wrote, the more I was able to write: I had more ideas, I had more focus. Writer’s block was never an issue unless I stopped writing. I’m starting to realize that this is the same thing.

And, more generally, when I think about what I want to do and say as an artist, I’m always thinking in terms of photography. Or occasionally video, but the stories I want to tell right now are visual. That might change later, or it might not, or it might evolve into something else, but for now, that’s what I need and want to be focussing on.

This has been a bit of a ramble, hasn’t it?

The tl;dr version, then: I’m putting writing (fiction) on indefinite hold. This is a good thing. I’m feeling really good about photography. This is a better thing.

It’s been a good month.