Dumping Ground: I have used the website, 750 words, going on nearly three years now. The inspiration for the website came from Julia Cameron's best-seller, The Artist's Way, where she advocates writing three full pages first thing each morning: stream of consciousness writing that allows you to empty the mind of worries, stress, confusions, etc....in order to make room for creative pursuits. While she advocates long-hand, typing on a computer in this secure format is more conducive to my lifestyle. I'm not sure that I have made much room for creativity to take hold (yet) - but I have found that this daily activity helps me to prioritize tasks and put life in proper perspective.
Spiritual Focus: As I mentioned last week, I am currently working my way through Rick Warren's daily devotional, Decade of Destiny for the second year. I really enjoy his practical easy-to-understand messages that often cause me to think more clearly about my life's goals. Today he reviews his famous Acronym of SHAPE - and how knowing your shape will help you define your calling in life. For those of you who may not have heard of this, SHAPE stands for:
- S = Spiritual Gifts
- H = Heart
- A = Abilities
- P = Personality
- E = Experiences
Writing Focus: I currently use two daily tools to help me think about the writing life - although I have not yet translated those thoughts to an actual writing lifestyle (I have faith that will come later). The first is the book, A Year of Writing Dangerously, where the author has daily messages to motivate would-be authors to face their fears and just write. Each message is then accompanied by a quote from a published author.
Yesterday's prompt was entitled: Getting Permission - and the author states: If you feel you need permission to write about yourself, or whatever you feel you need to write about, I give you permission.
She then uses the quote by William Zinsser to summarize the thought:
If you write for yourself, you will reach all the people you want to write for.
The other tool I use is Patti Digh's Daily Rock. As some of you may recall, Patti Digh is the author of Life is a Verb, which inspired me to develop a series of writing prompts two summers ago. She helps me to focus on the moment - to stop putting off til tomorrow because who knows how much time they have left (her father died only 37 days after learning he had cancer).
One of her prompts this week included: Let Your Life Be a Poem
Photography Focus: Writing comes naturally for me - not that I do it well, but it comes easily. Photography does not. I have NO natural ability. I must constantly think about the rules of composition; I must stop and analyze the light before I attempt to set the ISO - Aperture - Shutter Speed controls. I have yet to learn how the camera sees the world and become quite frustrated when my picture is not what I saw with the naked eye. And yet... I still love the possibilities that photography offers to help me relate to the world in which I live. And I am determined to learn the craft. After all....don't I teach students that writing can be learned - they just have to be willing to put in the effort? I want to follow my own advice.
Of course improvement comes from practice - and daily practice is best. However, I struggle finding variety in the world around me. That is where Capture Your 365 photo prompts help. Katrina does not necessarily suggest WHAT to photograph, but rather WHAT EMOTION to capture. And this, to me, is the essence of photography.
Today's prompt is Real Life - which she also offers Everyday - Ordinary - Daily as possible synonyms. It is a rainy day in Kansas, so I think I will be forced to find a suitable subject indoors. I was thinking perhaps a photo of emptying the dishwasher .... but I'm not sure. What would you photograph to capture "real life" ?