Whenever I'm at a seaside, I try to go for a walk. Usually a long one. There aren't that many things that calm my mind and senses down so well as waves crashing on a shore... be it a rocky one or a beach. Pair it with the ever present wind, even rain or cold, being barefoot trousers rolled up walking a long stretch, and having nobody around for miles... it's a perfect recipe for many things.
Over the past year of so, I've had the feeling that these walks had turned from "staring into the distance nice-to-do walks", to "necessary, career-do-or-die thinking walks", and that's not what it should be. The need for thinking things over about my photography somehow crept in there and became way too much... draining my energy, and freezing me over stone cold, not being able to produce new images. To the point that I ended up standing there at the Baltic Sea wondering just what's the use of it all.
And then I stumbled across Ira Glass' fantastic advice (yes... I'm sorry it took me so long to come across this). He hits the mark so perfectly... It's about that gap, knowing that gap is there, seeing where you want to be and seeing where you are and not being content with it, and wanting to take just one huge step to get "there" but not being able to and then wanting to quit.
Listening to this, I know now that I too, fell for it... I wanted desperately to be past "making mistakes" already... and then simply "being able to recognise what is good" and "not being content where I was", kind of fooled me into thinking I could also get where I wanted to be quite easily.
Of course I cannot skip the step of actually having to make a lot of work and making many mistakes along the way. Being able to discern what is good or where you want to be, is fine, but it maketh the artist not.
Of course the "information age" isn't helping me either: you see so much wonderful work being put out there, every second, every day. So many fantastic books to read, so many exhibits to look at, so many things to explore... it's almost discouraging. Almost.
I honestly "saw" it. I honestly felt I could immediately just "be" there. I was wrong. And I believed it so much, that I now realise that I turned a blind eye to what I should have been doing.
So. Problem solved. Now I know i must go out and go through a volume of work. However I need to. However long it takes. Work hard. And make mistakes. And grow. And keep going. Do not stop.
If nothing else, just because mistakes are actually cool 😊