Dear Kitty,

Dear Kitty,

I’m trying to work on something that has plagued me for a long time. Faith in creative self.

You know that moment when someone asks you what you do and you cringe before you tell them? That.

99% of the cringe isn’t shame, it’s fear of someone else’s judgment.

What if you tell them you are a photographer and they don’t like your pictures? Does that mean you aren’t one?

What if you tell them you are a writer and they don’t understand your words? Are you not a writer now?

What if you are an artist but they aren’t moved when they see your creation? Is it not art?

It boils down to definition. What if my definition doesn’t match someone else? Does that make it invalid?

One thing that has changed so much in the past year is I no longer take clients for photography. I no longer pour hours into ghost writing for companies.

If I happen to take a picture it’s because I am just having fun. If I write it’s because it was in my heart.

So when I meet someone new and they ask me what I do, I am reduced to shrugging and saying “Well, the laundry sometimes.”

Because I am guilty of comparing creativity.

If your name isn’t Stephen King, then you are probably not a writer.

If your name isn’t Ansel Adams, then why do you own a camera?

I try hard to remember that not everybody likes Stephen King, although he’s hit the best seller list multiple times.

I remind myself that not everybody like black and white nature shots, although Ansel Adams is widely known.

I question myself all the time…

“Do I like doing what I am doing?  – Yes!”

Does anything else really matter past that? It shouldn’t but sometimes it does.

There is a writer that I really enjoy. Jeff Goins. He claims you are a writer if you say you are. Sounds easy enough, but it goes against the natural tendency I have of being critical of myself. Of worrying about matching definitions.

So in the spirit of Goins…

I am a writer, sometimes.

I am a photographer, sometimes.

I do laundry, sometimes.

Categories: diary entry July

Tags: ,

6 replies

  1. Saying you are not a photographer because someone doesn’t like a picture is like saying a surgeon isn’t really a doctor because a patient doesn’t make it. Or like me thinking I am not a teacher because that one child doesn’t make the gains I think they should have. Don’t measure yourself by those who do NOT approve, you are validated by those who do.

    I am a teacher because I teach, not because they learn.

    A doctor is a doctor because he treats, not because they heal.

    A photographer is a photographer because they capture a moment. Whether its a good moment or not.

    A writer is a writer because she writes, not because they read.

  2. You are a photographer.
    You are a writer.
    You do laundry.

    Anything else is a story.

  3. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I have faced this exact thing lately and having people say, oh you stay home. Like it’s a bad thing. I love the fact I’m raising my kids and not someone else, and made my choice to do so. I love reading your stories.

  4. You are doing EXACTLY what you are supposed to be doing. You work (if anyone says different, kick them in the privates) doing the most important job you will ever have. You take pictures because it feeds your soul. Same for writing. The fact that others benefit from your efforts is just frosting on the cake of your creativity. The things you do make an eternal difference… can anything be more important than that?

  5. I’ve had the same thoughts through a different spiral … I am still a writer if I don’t tell anyone or share what I consider my real work?

    You are who you decide to be. Screw everyone else. 🙂

  6. Some people seem to compare talent to equate _______ (writing, photography, etc). I call myself a writer, though, of late there are no comments on the stories I publish. I call myself a writer, because its in my blood. I feel at my most natural when I can lose myself in my imagination and just write. I will not, however, call myself an author until I have earned that merit. I’m working on it.

    I love your answers. I do the dishes, sometimes. I write, often. I dance, when no one is looking. 😉

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