This is what happened: I thought I was done putting too much pressure on myself with this project. And then I missed a day (lack of inspiration, or motivation, or something else... I can't remember at this point), and then two days, and then I started feeling anxious about how the project had stalled....
I had one big goal in April: to get over the ennui and inertia of March and find my focus again. (So… nothing too big, then?)
I think I succeeded. Mostly.
The first step was reviewing and revising my long-term goals, and figuring out how to keep them top-of-mind. And that’s actually been the biggest change I’ve made this month: I’ve completely changed the way I set and keep track of my goals, and I’m working to modify the ways I juggle day-to-day tasks and projects. I’ve taken some big steps, but the whole thing still feels very much like a work-in-progress; I’m still making little changes, and figuring out the flaws in my new systems, but I do feel like I’m (finally) on the right track. (I’ll go into more detail later, once I’ve ironed out the kinks. The whole thing feels like it merits its own post.)
That’s the general. And I’ll be honest: the general is working better than the specific for me right now.
Now that I've taken some of the pressure off - and since I've had fresh flowers on hand to play with - this project is fun.
Ok, so: I’m not going to try to take a photo every. single. day. That was the original plan, but this past week (and a half) reminded me how much that kind of pressure stresses me out and makes me resent the entire process.
I might have freaked out - just a little - when it came time to actually start this project.
February was one of those months that just… didn’t work for me. That one week in the middle - something like a vacation, but not quite - threw me off my game for the entire month. I had a hard time being productive the week before (because I knew I’d be taking a break, so I didn’t want to build momentum only to lose it again), and I struggled to find my stride again after.
I really need to find a way to work around interruptions like that. They’re a real struggle for me, and I’ve never been able to figure out a way to integrate them into my creative process.
If January taught me anything, it’s that I need to have some kind of well-defined photography project if I’m going to keep shooting. And I need to make a public commitment to that project. Without those two things, I really struggle to stay on track with any of my photography goals.
In other words, it wasn’t a good month for me as a photographer.
The last few years, I’ve chosen a watchword to take me into the new year, a small mantra to remind me of my goals, both big and small.
I still don’t know what possessed me to try a 365 project in 2017. When I started, I was pretty sure it would turn out like the attempts I’d made before: three months in, I’d be taking the most boring snapshots in the world, simply to fulfil the obligation. I didn’t think that I’d make it through the year without getting bored or resentful, and I definitely didn’t think that the project would do as much for my photography in general as it did.
We're coming down to the last days of the year, and it feels so weird. I'll have more to say next week, with my final post for this particular project (and my plan for next year's project), but for now: I really like every single picture I took this week.