What a Chance Photography Lesson Taught Me about Writing

Writers are constantly finding ways to get around a block that does not let them express the way they would like to. Either there is no writing or not enough in quantity and quality.

Being Stuck

Feeling stuck is a commonplace thing. We get into a routine and before long into a rut. Creatively, it has happened to me in my writing. I was writing well, being productive, finding much joy and then things just tanked. The creative pursuit became more of a predictable thing, the topics became similar, the flow of ideas and the structure of the writing pieces looked duplicated.

Once stuck, it is easy to stay stuck. It is also easy to dissolve in angst, when trying to look for solutions. But the angst and the self pity is so overwhelming and sneakily satisfying that it makes it difficult for us to find answers sincerely.

So, here I was, stuck in a writing routine, not having anything new to say, rehashing the same topics and lines of thought. To shake up things, I decided to just ‘be’ for a while, finding my connection back to my creative core.

Exploring Other Creative Outlets

I started taking long walks, enjoying the natural beauty and the architecture of the hill town I was living in, at that time and this started me dabbling in photography.

Capturing the mountains, the beautiful vistas, the sunrises and the sunsets was easy; everything was so picturesque. But no matter how much I tried, I could not take acceptably good photos of the imposing church towers, the Gregorian style architecture of the theatres and the buildings. I felt as stuck in photography as in writing.

Making Connections: How I Got Unstuck

I pored over articles online about how to capture imposing structures. One article talked about singling out interesting parts of a building and focussing on them. This made good sense. If I could not take a panoramic shot of the place, I could step up close, zoom in to the quaint lamps, a portion of the arches and just one towering window instead of them in a row.

And all of a sudden, it all came together. I was capturing the essence of places by focussing on the details.

I decided to use this lesson for my writing. When I was not able to produce pieces that spoke sweepingly of the human condition, I walked in close to one person, her life, her struggles and her spirit. This helped me get the attention of the readers. I could then back up, fill in the details and relate this one story to the larger picture of life.

We can find inspiration in unexpected places, we just need to stay open.

Which creative pursuits, other than writing, are you passionate about?

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


Sunday Trees #326

I took this picture on a rainy day, having gone out to capture the tiny flowers near the sidewalk. The delicate petals drooped with the weight of the water droplets but I looked up to see this fruit hanging down from the tree, ready to be plucked, as the others had been, before this.

Looking at the verdant green makes me long for the rains again, the steady beat of the drops on the tin roofs of the balconies and leaves and buds sprouting everywhere.

Winter is mild here, a touch and go affair. It is getting warmer and the dried foliage around, however, means that I can see more of the lake from my windows and admire the sun shimmering bright on the water.

Big mercies.

I am inspired to post this picture for Becca’s Sunday Trees.

Six years of appreciating trees

Every other Sunday, I post a tree picture for Becca’s Sunday Trees, which is a weekly challenge hosted on her blog, ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea‘.

I have loved trees all my life, always noticing them, in the unlikeliest of places and times. Through looking at Becca’s trees every week and the numerous other entries there, I feel encouraged to share my own pictures.

This week, Becca completes 6 years of posting trees on her blog. That’s an amazing long time to keep up with your passion.

Wishing her many more years of appreciating trees.