Recently I've gone back to some of the portraits I took in 2010 when I first started my little photography biz, and I noticed a few things. It was clear I knew nothing about Photoshop back then, because my editing skills were terrible. But I was actually a better photographer than I am now. The angles I chose to capture my subjects were creative. It was more interesting than the average portrait. I even remember that a client had chosen me because of that.
But somewhere along the line, as I was studying other photographers' work and learning the more technical aspects of this craft that I loved, I lost it. All of it. The style that made me stand out, the interesting angles, the creativity--my eye. I fell out of love with it. At some point, it became a job. Just a job. Always a potential problem when you transform a hobby into a business....
In our writing, of course we have to get a handle on the technical stuff. The structure, the grammar, motivations, story arcs, etc. But we have to hold on to what we love about writing. Our creativity and what makes our storytelling unique shouldn't be sacrificed during our quest to become stronger writers, especially if we want to make it a career. How tragic for writing to turn into "just a job."
I learned more about photography so I could grow as a photographer, but I wasn't careful enough about holding on to the part of ME that made it... me. This next year, I'm going to work on getting back to the heart of my photography. Falling in love with it again. And I'm going to stay ahead of the game and make sure my writing doesn't suffer the same breakup.
Hold on to your eye!