Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Yesterday my fellow muse Suki asked a question to the Mortal Muses, "If you did a 365, what did you learn this year by doing it?" Initially, I dismissed the question because I didn't do a 365. (For those of you who don't know, a "365" is where you take a photo every day, for an entire year.) But then I realized that I do my own sort of daily photography practice, if a bit different.

A little over a year ago, in November 2009, I started posting a photo a day here on the blog. Up to that point my blogging had been sporadic, and I didn't have much focus. I had all of these great pictures from our travels, but it was so overwhelming to think of editing and posting many of them to tell the stories. I wasn't interested in writing about our daily lives or travels. Sorting through, editing and picking one favorite photo a day, however, was doable. I decided to try that.

This simple little decision has had a profound impact on me. Today I found myself journaling this in answer to Suki's question, on what this simple daily practice has given me:

  • The discovery that photography is art. And I am an artist. I've been able to claim that title, grow confident in myself as an artist. Along with seeing myself as an artist, I see my work as art.
  • Finding my "eye," the portrayal of the world around me that is all my own. I can see it, own it as mine. There is huge confidence and satisfaction that comes with that. 
  • The discovery that photography is a passion for me. I love being in the moment. Finding the evidence of life - beauty, joy, love, happiness, even imperfection - all around me in the smallest of things.
  • I've become deeply aware of my art and creativity as an extension of my soul. It links to something at the core of my being, unlike anything else I've ever experienced.
  • The discovery that I can share this passion, this confidence and wonderful self-awareness I've gained, with others through writing on my blog and now with my Find Your Eye course. My "corporate world" skills are not completely unrelated to my passion, they can directly translate into great things in my creative, artistic life.
  • I've found that I'm a writer. I enjoy writing, like communicating ideas via words, having a conversation with others online. Combining words with photos has been an incredible source of creativity for me.
  • I've learned that following my heart - whether it's in taking a photo, writing a blog post, taking a course of action - is never, ever wrong. It has always led to good things, even if everyone around me is not immediately happy about it. Following your heart is not about making other people happy. 
  • I've found an amazing community of people here on the internet - through the blogs I read, the people who read mine and comment, Mortal Muses, other groups and challenges I've participated in. I've found people who have similar interests and passions and challenge me in such positive ways. Those connections are incredible. I look forward to forming more of them, more interaction, more friendships as I continue on.

It's good to take a moment, look back and see all of the gifts I've been given through this one step. I don't think it matters whether you specifically do a 365 or post a photo a day or write three pages every morning or whatever it might be. I don't think it even matters that it is every single day (I certainly haven't done that here!). What matters is that you find a regular practice that you learn and grow from, and you stick to it long enough to see the benefits.

I can't stop doing this now, posting a photo and some words most days on my blog. I would lose some important, integral piece of myself. This practice, for me, is a gift that keeps on giving.

Today's 9 Muses Musing challenge is GIVING. Stop by and leave a comment or link up to win the giveaway.
Tomorrow is my challenge day for 9 Muses Musing, and it's LIGHTS. I know, big surprise! Get those holiday light photos tonight if you can - I have a great giveaway you won't want to miss!!


  1. Dear Kat,

    I so resonate with your words today.

    I have never had a problem with accepting photography as being my way of expressing my art, infact I have always thought of myself as an artist and the camera as my preferred tool. However, you have helped my here today when you mentioned 'regular practice', over a year ago I started to write the 'three pages a day', I found the practice very rewarding but have struggled to keep to it daily, but as you point out writing from the heart here serves the same purpose. Your words have helped me get this into perspective.

    Thank you, I am grateful,

    Sue x

  2. Beautiful words. I am so grateful you could discouver it. :)

  3. A sincere thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing more of you on this 18-day project!

  4. a great post, I agree with everything, now my 365 is part of my daily life.

  5. Great post Kat. So wonderful that this journey of yours gives back to you. I love what you said, Following your heart is not about making other people happy. How true that is!

  6. Powerful post! What a brilliant recognition.

  7. oh yes, i love this -- a regular practice is more important than daily (said as i'm about to embark on a 365).

  8. A wonderful and inspiring post! I also am finding I am passionate about photography, and it's brought me so much joy. I love the supportive community of artists here. Thanks!

  9. I have also found that I've been blogging virtually every day (with a few gaps) since I started taking photographs. To actually commit to a 365 though is a little frightening because there can be so many factors to come in the way of it and I wonder if the pressure of the commitment might make me enjoy my photography less. So I'm going to carry on trying to put a blog up daily but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. And there's a New Year's resolution :-)

  10. What a lovely post! I absolutely agree with you!

  11. You've echoed my sentiments perfectly here. When I began my little 'practice' - it was meant to be only for one year. Now - almost 4 years later - my life wouldn't be the same without.

  12. I've tried (and failed) at Project 365 for two years running, but have the goal of daily practice and one shot/week for 2011. It seems much more manageable and I do believe you're right about the benefits of daily practice!

  13. Charming photo and a lovely post. One can truly meet some remarkable people online that never would have connected in any other way. And people can express themselves in new positive ways. Wonderful thing the internet. :)

  14. Very nice post to read. I remember that I felt your discovery from your talking when I met you. Since then you have certainly helped mine too! xm

  15. You have really spoken to me today. Thank you.

  16. That's amazing and insightful. I'm hosting a giveaway today at You should check it out!

  17. My 365 experience found me jumping out of bed at 10PM and taking photos of coffee cups in a dar kitchen because I am anal and forgetful. Not in my DNA and it didn't help me live in the Moment. Crazy how different we all are and how we learn. Ain't life grand?


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