Last week, I distilled my thoughts and feelings regarding fears about my art down to its core...not being accepted. This week, I take on "the challenge". Truthfully, there are more than one challenge and I may not even recognize all of them, yet.
The first challenge lands squarely into the realm of perseverance. Perseverance has (at least) two tails for me. The first tail is laziness. Laziness may sound kind of rough to the ears, but is there another name for the excuse "I'll go out tomorrow"? The second tail is the idea of never giving up, or determination.
Determination is the foundation for perseverance. If I am determined to make something happen, I will persevere; keep going out, keep trying. It took nine months to get the shot of the International Space Station (ISS). Most often, cloud cover prevented me from seeing the ISS. There were those nights and mornings between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Yes, I set my alarm - just in case I wasn't experiencing insomnia that night - fell out of bed and traveled to my pre-ordained spot in the yard. One bitterly cold morning, I trudged out with my gear to find the rock I had so industriously placed to mark viewing coordinates had been removed. (I neglected to tell the Hubster about the big rock marking my place.) Finally, there was the classic...yes, I took a 5 minute long exposure...with the lens cap on! (DEEP belly laugh here!) The learning curve for this night exposure was protracted. Nine months long. (Yeah, let's talk gestation...)
I could have given up, but I kept going back. I learned from every failure. Except for the cloud cover, of course...nothing I could do about that. I am pretty sure my neighbors were watching me do the "happy tippy toe dance" when I finally captured the Space Station.
Now, about personal challenge...the most difficult for me is approaching strangers. To ask a stranger if I may take his/her picture makes the back of my brain explode. I swear I can hear the robot from Space Family Robinson, "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger, Danger!" The very short version is, when a person adds to the composition of a photo, I will approach and ask permission. Definitely not easy at first, but I do it. Respect and kindness are requisite. Sometimes, humor helps, also. And yes, it has taken perseverance for me to keep asking.
The coda for this blog post was on NPR this morning. Fortuitous, yes? As Jason Comely, developer of the Rejection Game, said..."most fears aren't real in the way you think they are. They're just a story you tell yourself." (Click on the bold letters for the link about Jason and the Rejection Game.)
Bottom Line: Determination leads to perseverance. I am determined to improve my art so I will persevere - even into emotional discomfort. Who knew that pursuing a creative life would open me to other avenues of artistic and personal growth?
Please feel free to share in the Comment section below.
Be safe, be warm.
Next up: Part 3 - the growth