Friday Inspiration: Brene Brown

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Teddy Roosevelt

Thinking about the video from last week, the SXSW keynote speech that Austin Kleon gave, and his thoughts about showing your work led me to Brene Brown, her book Daring Greatly and a couple of videos for you to check out below. The title of her book comes from the speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave above and deals largely with being vulnerable, something that you absolutely must deal with to be creative and then get your work out in the world. Check out the videos below for more from Brene Brown.

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Write a Page a Day and You’ll Have a Book in a Year

I recently came across the following quote from Thea Astley:

‘If you write a page a day it adds up to a book in a year’

I like the idea here – steady and consistent progress will get you over the finish line. For photographers what does this mean? I think as it is for writers, doing something every day on your project will mean that eventually you’ll have a real and tangible product.

One of the harder tasks for us as photographers is being able to work on our project everyday, especially when we have the weather to contend with or difficult schedules to work around. I use the ‘Natural Planning Model’ that David Allen describes in his ‘Getting Things Done‘ book to go through and break out all of the tasks that a project involves. The natural planning model involves 5 basic steps:

1. Defining purpose and principles
2. Outcome visioning
3. Brainstorming
4. Organizing
5. Identifying next actions

Hear David Allen talk more about this by clicking below:

This allows me to generate an an inventory of everything that I could be doing to move my project along.

Using the book project that I’m working on at the moment as an example – assuming that the shooting will take care of itself, there are still lots of decisions around everything else to be made:

Self-publish?
What company?
Physical size of the book?
Hardback or Paperback?
eBook?
How many images?
Sequencing?
Introduction?
Other essays?
Thubnails at the end?
Shot information?

Once each of these questions has been answered there is then the obligatory question of ‘What’s the next step?’ Using this approach I have a laundry list of things that I can be doing when I’m not shooting to help help keep the project moving forward and I’m sure that you would too.

The Value of Sharing Ideas

I came across a good quote about the value of sharing ideas recently and thought I’d share it here:

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine: as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.  That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature.

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813