About five years ago I started writing almost every morning and it’s helped my photography and my business. Below I explain how.
“The Artist Way”
“The Artist Way” is a book/workbook by Julia Cameron. It had been recommended to me by a fellow artist (or two). When I first got it I read through it just to get an idea of what it was about, what it could help me with and if it were something I would really invest any time into beyond just reading it. I will still go back and ‘do’ the exercises at some point but one of the first things she asks you to do is write what she calls Morning Pages.
Every morning I write three pages on 8.5-by-11-inch paper. I started last June. Initially, I thought it would help me deal with my mother’s illness but it has become part of my daily routine and so much more.
One of the things that writing daily helps with is ideas. When you sit down and write whatever comes to mind some days you feel like the fountain of ideas will never stop and others you may just have one or two. The thing is, now you have them down on paper. When I’m doing my writing I make quick notes in the margins so I know I can go back and find certain ideas to act on them. For instance, when I have ideas for articles for Photofocus I put a quick “PF” in the margin, “Blog” for a blog idea, “See!” for my mentorship program, etc. I can then go back to those notes to remember what ideas I had and take action on them.
If you’re working on a project for a client it’s a great way to get all of the ideas for the project out of your head. Just spill it all out, whatever comes to mind and from that other ideas happen, write those down too. Give yourself permission to just do a mind dump on paper. Working on a photoshoot? Writing is an excellent way to get all of the ideas you have out as well, backdrops, locations, logistics, equipment … anything that comes to mind that has to do with that shoot, write it down.
Sometimes no matter how much we try to think of a solution to a problem — maybe with a client, our equipment, our software, editing or a particular shot — we can’t seem to come up with a solution. Try writing it out. Don’t hold back and nothing is off-limits. You never know what wild idea may come out of your head that will fix the issue you’re having.
Clear your head
Oftentimes on Monday mornings, your mind is already racing with all the things you want to create this week. Stop. Sit down and write. Just dump it all out on the page. This will help you start your week off with a clear head, and a good idea of what you want to accomplish and you’ll feel much less anxious about everything that was going on in your mind.
I never thought I would still be writing almost daily three years after starting, but I am. It has helped me stay more focused, plan, follow through and come up with ideas for my own work and business that I’m not sure I would have otherwise had. Give it a try, start today. Let me know how it goes.