What a great phrase. Translation to Minnow: check your ego out the door when you sit down to write.
The two are made for each other, like a couple married for 50+ years. This recent story in New York Times Magazine is a great example of such a union. It put a smile on my face the whole way through.
That image could have been a clip in a video, but having it frozen in time with great composition, and the flattering light. I stared at that image much longer than a video would allow me to look.
And this is what great writing can do. It gives life and an insight to the world of this pencil factory that an image can't fully capture. Maria matches her shirt and nail polish to the pencil color being made that week. I mean, how charming is that?
I have nothing against video. My greatest inspirations comes from film, but what I have at my disposal right now is a camera and a pencil. With everything going to video and everyone raving about video, I feel as if I'm convincing myself that what I have is valuable. But features like this that are masterfully done inspires and delights me to no end.
I recently found a pattern in how I started and ended each year. Each year started with me asking myself: “could I pull this off again this year? Do I have enough to make it to the end?” The year would go on and it would be full of great clients and projects, but as December approached the same question would come up again and crisis would ensue. I thought it was the price you pay of being a freelancer, but that’s not true. It was because of a mindset I chose to embrace; a mindset of scarcity.
I couldn’t look ahead farther than a year, because I was busy just trying to survive. I would dream of these big goals and projects that would take years, if not decades to achieve. Yet I never made time to actually make a plan and create systems to accomplish them. Who has time to do that when you don’t have a steady paycheck?
The antidote to this isn’t to get more resources, because the poison is from within not without. It’s a mindset that makes me think I don’t have enough.
This is a photo of my wife and I from September getting ready to spend another day walking around Paris. It’s a reminder to me that no one who is just “barely surviving” is able to get such an amazing opportunity. It’s a blessing to do what I do and it’s a responsibility to do the most I can with what I have been given.
If you want to face scarcity mindset head on with some people who battle it and overcome it everyday, listen to this podcast episode by Sean McCabe.
I had to go from the far side of creating plastic skins to the meticulous side of the 300% zoomed in work to get to a middle ground where the retouching disappears and what you're left with is the intention. It took a while, but I'm happy with where I've landed.
A product has to earn its place in the world. Especially a product that’s being commoditized and attacked from all sides. It has to function not only at absolute peak performance (in this case, infallibly take great photos), but it has to do so while simultaneously delighting us. I’m a stickler for that: the delight.
A beautiful ode to a beautiful camera. It reads at times almost like a love letter.
"Write to think. Don’t try to know where you’re going before you start writing, but write to find out what you think, or find the story you need to tell. Never expect that a particular time-unit of writing will produce a given number of publishable words. You must learn to think of your writing time as a period of discovery, in which you find out what you think, or what images and rhythms tend to emerge from your mind, or where a story seems to want to go. If you focus on discovery, then something worth sharing with others will emerge, in its own way and on its own schedule. But that’s not the kind of thing that can be forced. Allow yourself the freedom to explore."
It doesn't make the process easier, but I welcome this perspective because it's a more self forgiving way to look at writing; less masochistic and feeling like a martyr for your craft.