a habit of noticing – and savouring – the everyday moment

Words have abandoned me.  After a great push on the manuscript last week, and a wonderful weekend with my family, something dried up.

Instead of After berating myself for the blank page in front of me, I spent some time wandering around the internets, and also wandering in the neighbourhood with my camera.

Outside, the Japanese plums are in bloom, and the sky is – now and then – that deep, arresting blue of seasons changing.

Inside, I found habit, a blog of photos with no-more-than-30-word captions, posted by the two hosts and several guest artists each month.

And these are ARTISTS.  The photographers have paired lovely, intimate photos of everyday life with tender, often poignant thoughts, exposing their hearts and lives.  I find the pictures and captions deeply moving.

So, while the words for my work-in-progress and for my usual blog posts are MIA, I am going to try a new habit.

the light was soft. the chair was hard. where was the in-between?


  • Remember my friend Neil, who had birthdays for his teenaged cat (who lived to 21!) and got wedding pictures with an Alf mask? He was a VERY creative guy, and really was a great example of not stemming creativity when it came. You try to channel it or focus it or steer it towards what you are working on of course, but creating something is ALWAYS better than creating nothing. I tend to berate myself for an empty page too, and during my PhD I got some good advice in words: “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” (I took that to heart, now I don’t even let good be the enemy of bad”) and also good advice in the form of an example from Neil. My favourite was when Neil made a documentary about his life as a grad student. His words weren’t coming, but he was inspired nonetheless and made a really awesome show. The inspiration from one project can spill over to the next, and feeling some self-efficacy in one area can transfer to another (you can do it!)
    Neil’s awesome video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p46hwrR7KbE

  • Thank you for sharing that video again – it is great to see. Indeed, creativity of one kind can stimulate another, and I have often gone back and forth between photographs and writing to accomplish just that.

    I am struggling deeply with this writing project, and it is less about trying to be good or perfect, and more about the emotional depths I have to plumb to tell the story. I have come to the conclusion now that I have to take a break from this – a very difficult decision to make. I am still committed to writing, it will just be a different project for now.

    And I will carry with me the idea of perfect and good and bad and their relationships – i like the quote you shared above – i can definitely see the application in my creative and professional work.

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