I have a long post written up to kick off the year. It’s sitting in my drafts.
Last weekend, I was gung-ho to post it. But it is one of those posts that made me feel like I should sit on it a bit.
It was a rant really. About how overwhelmed and irritated I am with labeling eating styles, diets, and all the junk related to the health industry.
Then I was flipping through Twitter and saw a post from Chase Jarvis. I wouldn’t call him a mentor, I don’t know him, but I follow him enough that glimpses of his attitudes and work ethic tend to punch me in the face (in a very positive way) when I need it.
He was on a plane with wifi, and as he sometimes does, opened things up to a Q&A. I never asked questions. I can’t really think of any. But I love reading what other people ask.
A lot pertain to what he thinks about this or that. Something in the industry or the way some things are done. (He’s an adventure photographer and founder of CreativeLIVE, if you are unfamiliar.)
The answer he gives, he’s given before, but sometimes I forget it.
Simply put, it is – I don’t.
He doesn’t think about what other people are doing or how they are doing it.
It was perfect timing for the reminder. It made me realize that even though my intention of that planned post was to help, it also included a lot of worrying about what others were doing. Something I should have no time for at the moment (or ever).
So I regrouped and continued to try to figure out why I haven’t felt like blogging since the start of the new year. The be honest, I just don’t think I have anything to say. So we are just going to let it be, and I’m going to start focusing on what I’m doing without being distracted by all those little things that can set you off in the wrong direction – social feeds, news articles, negative self-talk.
I’m continuing with My Three Words again this year. If you are curious, these are my three words from 2017. I definitely accomplished them in some ways, in others not so much. I did end up getting certified as a beer server, which is level one, but the full-on Certified Cicerone will take some time. I did keep my goal of Less. I stuck with maxing out on only 3 recipes per day for client projects. As a result, I was much happier with my photography. And if you follow me at all, you know I Wandered like crazy last year.
In addition to the words that guide my overall year, mostly with work, I wanted a phrase I could say to myself, a mantra I guess, to stop me from rushing the process. That process might be having my first cup of coffee in the morning or dealing with the frustration of a photo shoot that isn’t going my way.
The words guide my goals. The phrase drives my steps to get there.
Open. If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, I’m sure you’ve heard this advice in one form or another. That you should focus solely on what you want to do or be. Dive in, don’t get distracted, and the work will come. For me, this is being a food photographer and stylist. But I’m finding that other opportunities come my way for other tasks and skill sets. I often feel confused about whether I should jump on these opportunities or stay focused because quite frankly if the work isn’t there, well, it isn’t there.
After a lot of thought, I think jumping will be a good thing for me this year. Maybe I won’t reach my goal of shooting food and travel photography 100 percent of the time, but I have a lot of skill sets. I’m also a bit torn with that work (specifically with food) because it doesn’t always allow me to be mobile. I’m still not sure I want to do it ALL the time, just part of it. This year I will be open to new things.
Productivity. Pretty self-explanatory. I think most freelancers struggle with it from time to time as we have to stay pretty disciplined given all our freedoms. I’ll be staying off a lot of social media this year (uh-hem, Facebook) to boost my productivity.
Free. Goodbye guilt for eating. (I might eat all foods and hate labels, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t constantly feel guilty for doing so.) Goodbye stress over taking the afternoon to focus on creative photos or simply reading (as long as I stick to word two). It’s time to be free of a lot of negativity and enjoy the freedoms I have as a freelancer for the betterment of myself and those around me.
Past three words:
2017 – Less. Renew. Wander
2016 – Stronger. Do. Reflect.
2015 – Sustain. Reach. Separate.
2014 – Recreate. Plunge. Pause.
2013 – Be. Create. Grow.
2012 – Progress. Learn. Honor.
Okay, now I finally feel like getting this new year started and also getting back to posting here.