And it's traditionally a time when resolutions are made, and usually rather quickly broken. I have the same aims as everyone else, get healthier, lose weight, quit smoking. How these self made promises will pan out, well, your guess is as good as mine, yeah, probably not very well. But not to put a negative pessimistic spin on things, we can but try, and making a start on such ideals is just the beginning.
To be honest, so far it's not doing great. I have the post new year blues, it's cold, it's raining, and I'm broke. Just like everyone else. So far, I've broken a tooth, I've buggered my elbow, and just feeling, well, harrumph. I know I'm far from alone, it's the new year, and the anti-climax of the Christmas and New Year festivities.
One thing I must aim to accomplish this year is to climb back on board the creativity train, and to get both writing and creating photographs again. But how to do this?
There are a number of articles online, '10 MUST DO RESOLUTIONS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS/WRITERS/CREATIVES', a quick google search brings up a wealth of these, and they all have very salient points that anyone with a desire to get busy and get creative would find interesting. Cherry pick your favourites, or those you find more applicable. As for my own?
- Read more. Read monographs, read reviews, read essays, read novels, read autobiographies. Fill your world with words, and with ideas, and with knowledge.
- See more. Go see exhibitions, visit galleries, look and study the work of others. See what makes them tick, what inspires those who inspire you. Go for walks in the city, in the country, and look around you, even if just on the daily commute, take notice of the world around you, and especially over the next 4 months, see how the world you see every day changes, from the depths of winter, and watch how spring arrives, and changes the landscape.
- Dream more. Not only daydream, but take inspiration from what your mind creates in those moments you allow it to drift, and let that guide you, and build from it.
- Carry a camera, and a notebook. And of course most of us carry a smartphone which can do both these things. Jot down those ideas, take a pic of that location, or that sunset (or sunrise if you're up and about early enough.
- Collaborate. Ok, a tricky one for me, with my crippling misanthropy. But I do collaborate; I do bloggy stuff with friends, I work with photographers and other creatives. Talk, and exchange ideas. That project you never got off the ground may inspire others, or they might have ideas that help you. Work together and build together.
- Cook or bake. Redirect that creative urge. Those days when you can't write, no inspiration to take photographs, or draw, make something delicious instead. Browse recipe websites and find something to make. Invite friends round, and entertain them, and be entertained.
- Listen to music. Put the radio on, play some albums you haven't listened to in a long time. Get nostalgic with the lost music of your youth.
- Do stuff. Get off your arse, get out the house, and do something. There is nothing worse than when you're feeling stuck in a rut, than the feeling of apathetic helplessness, and finding the motivation to actually do something. We've all been there, but the moment you start, and the moment you can look at something and think 'I did that', it's the moment you find so much more motivation, and whoop! You're on the creativity train again.
Two years ago I was in a similar position (due to a long a personal story I won't go in to), and my salvation was The Grey Sessions (http://grey.chriswparker.co.uk). I had no budget, and only the most rudimentary of ideas. But the simplest of ideas became an eight month long project, which as a by product got me socialising, collaborating, and creating some of my most favourite photographs of recent years. From small acorns...
I would love to get some published work again this year - I haven't done too badly over the past few years, I've been exhibited, and published internationally, both photography and the written word. Time to reclaim that and get back on it!