As I think about resolutions for the new year, two points made several years ago by the novelist Ann Patchett resonate with me.
1) The more time committed to what you do, the more output generated.
2) If you practice something each day for the first 32 days of a new year, it will set the course for your entire year.
Patchett took these two simple concepts and resolved to spend one hour a day, every day for the first 32 days of 2009, working on her then un-started novel. She acknowledges the bar was set very low, but by year-end she had made more progress on her novel than she’d ever dreamed possible.
I’m not a novelist, but I am a photographer, and I often struggle to make time for the things that are most important to me. So here is my plan for 2013: I resolve to spend one hour a day, every day for the first 32 days of 2013, working on my personal photography projects.
So how might I spend this time you ask?
A few obvious ideas come to mind:
- Make new images
- Organize my LR catalog
- Create a slide show (or book) of groups of images
- Edit an image a day
- Print new images
- Work on images for an upcoming exhibit
- Work on my new still life series
- Work on my daily journal series, (still going strong since 2008)
- Take time to understand and use all, (or at least more), of the capabilities available on my camera
- Pick five “disappointments” from 2012 (images I expected to be “killer”, but instead were “just so-so”), and analyze why.
- Update website with new work
- Post regularly on social sites
- Find new and inspiring places to photograph
And perhaps a few, not so obvious, ideas:
- Take in a museum or gallery show
- Read in-depth about a favorite photographer, painter, singer, etc…
- Read about the history of photography; read about art history
- Spend time in another art medium (I dabble in watercolors, acrylics and drawing and continue to be amazed at the positive influence they have on my photography)
- Continue the quest to better integrate sound principles of composition and visual design into my images
- Scan web for inspiration – both images and/or articles (that’s how I found Patchett article)
- Get better acquainted with the creative process. Devise techniques and exercises to help spark my creative juices
- Watch a video and learn something new
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. What will YOU do for one hour a day, every day for the first 32 days of 2013, to nourish your soul and feed your creative spirit?
In closing, here are three images being considered for my “2012 Favorites” slide show.