In My Words: Write Like a Photographer
|My friend Marty, doing what he loves.|
Bandon is the perfect place to go after you've planned and executed a wedding. It was all about being with comfortable-as-family friends. And walking along the beach. And relaxing. And reading. And more walking along the beach.
Oh yeah. And grabbing my camera every time my friend Marty grabbed his much bigger, much more expensive camera and following him, hoping that I might get photos half as good as his.
Marty is a gifted photographer. And as I followed him around and tried to watch and learn (and most definitely replicate his photos!), I gleaned some principles from him that can be applied to writing.
- Write because you love it. Marty is passionate about photography. All you have to do is look at the hundreds--possibly thousands--of photos he has loaded on his iPad to realize he loves taking pictures. He sees something worth photographing--a certain way the clouds swirl or the color of a rock nestled in the sand--and he gets excited. He starts smiling and clicking and smiling and clicking ...
- You aren't going to get it right the first time--and that's okay. I never saw Marty take just one photo of anything. If it was worth photographing once, it was worth photographing several times. Sometime many, many times. The photo at the end of this post? Marty took 155 takes to get the bird in just the right spot. 155 takes. How many times are you willing to rewrite your scene to get it right?
- Invest in your craft. Marty has spent time and money on his photography. His camera is a top of the line camera. His battery is almost as big as my camera! (Yeah, I'm jealous.). He knows what editing program he likes to use to get the photos just right. I've heard writers say things like, "I can't afford to go to that conference." The real question is: Can you afford not to go to that conference? And if it is not in this year's budget, can you start saving for next year's conference?
- Focus. Focus. Focus. (Did you really think I'd get through a blog post using photography as an allegory and not use the "focus" word?) I am a big picture person. I like to hang with people who are detail-oriented because they remind me not to overlook the oh-so-needed details. Marty sees the big picture and the details. He knows how to focus large and then focus in--on the smaller and smaller things. When you write, where's your focus? Nowadays it is so easy to have a scattered focus. We're blogging and tweeting and commenting on blog posts and glancing through email and mulling over our manuscripts--all at the same time. Focus. One thing at a time.