Hitting the Wall

27 May

Ah… I’m in one of those moods… I get like this from time to time.

If someone could help me to figure it out I would be grateful. I have been trying to work it out. I think there are a few underlying factors.

1. David Cook won American Idol
Now, for most of you, this wasn’t even a blip on your radar. For me it was a Major Life Event. For those that know me, you know that I have a slight problem with restraint, and tend to get over-excited about the strangest things. Needless to say, since he won, I have downloaded the following: His entire Analog Heart Album. All 11 of his studio tracks from Idol. All 24 live performances. And those are just the mp3’s. I also have video clips…

I have wasted countless hours pondering his “McHotness”. Is it the brooding look from under the lashes? The wry tweak to his right cheek? Is it the full body jolt just as the song kicks up a gear? Is it the crossword puzzles?Is it the guitar? Is it his gravely lower register or the way he hits the high notes that sends me a shiver? I don’t know. But I think about it. And it takes up all my time. Not to mention my ADSL Gigabytes.

2. The Divine Miss M visited my blog
All I did was mention her blog. How the heck did she find my post and comment on it?? She mentioned that she would be stopping by from time to time… Now, my blog is mainly intended for people I know, or used to know. Every now and then I forget that it is part of my default e-mail signature and some unwitting person stumbles across me. I forget that it is freely available to everyone with an Internet connection. People from past lives and people from the future. This has sent me into a posting crisis. There are “others” reading my blog. What will they think? I want to go and hide under my duvet and ponder David Cook’s facial hair and forget that there are “others” out there. One person mentions that they read my blog and I lose the ability to create sentences or coherent paragraphs. Instead of doing what comes naturally, I am a deer caught in headlights.

3. I finally “get” my camera
This is a huge hurdle for me. When I finally quit my job, I had wasted many working hours drooling over a digital SLR. I had even held one (gasp). But I didn’t know the first thing about using one. Then, towards the end of January, I bought my little baby. And promptly spent the better part of February, March and April absolutely clueless about how to use it. Enter my fabulous teacher
Deirdre Hewitson
(Hi Deirdre! … She reads my blog too and unwittingly contributes to my above performance anxiety…but I love her too much to care!). She taught me how to use my camera and I am SO grateful.

Unfortunately, I have reached a difficult step on my learning curve. I now know all the technical aspects. But, dammit, I still can’t take beautiful photos. And it is irritating the shite out of me. I thought I was becoming competent, but now I realise how little I know. I thought I could go on a course and “get it”. And I do get it – thanks entirely to Deirdre. But I now realise how much of a craft and art photography is. Now I realise that there is so much about taking good photos that just can’t be taught. And I am annoyed because I want to be better than I am, but there is no course to go on for “getting better”.

4. Deirdre gave me nasty homework
I have to do a photo journalistic set of photos. That means telling a story, without words, in 8 photos. And here’s the stone that sunk the ship: Only the best photos will go on exhibition. Now, up to this moment, I was really enjoying the course. Then they go and throw in a curve ball – a whiff of competition. And what do I do? I shut down. I have lost my inspiration. Can’t think of a story. I want to scream with frustration.

5. I “get” Photoshop
My Photoshop arrived sometime in Feb. And I was SO excited. I loaded Photoshop and tried it out and almost sent it back because I couldn’t figure how the flippin program worked. But then I tried again and Photoshop became my world. You all remember my blog at the time. Classic example of over-excitement and lack of restraint (see point 1. above). I am proud to say that I taught myself everything that I know. I realised today that that is quite a bit. Yay for me. But that also means that there are no more excuses. I have to get off my butt and start making a living from this stuff. Otherwise it is back to 9-5 for me next year. And I would rather leave my camera under a bush (yes, Deirdre… I read your blog too…!!), than do that. So I need to stop being and start doing – and that thought is terrifying!

6. People want me to take photos of their children
I have about 6 people lined up – all of whom want me to come and take photos of their precious children. I need to phone them to make appointments. I need the practise. They are sitting there – waiting for my call. And I can’t do it. I am scared shit-less at the prospect.

So there you have it. I have hit the wall. I am in a mood that I can’t climb out of. I am a deer caught in headlights. How do I stop being and start doing?

p.s. you will get bonus points if you can take my mind off David Cook’s eyelashes.

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3 Responses to “Hitting the Wall”

  1. John May 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Hey Pia

    Let me give you my two cents worth.
    With inflation going like it is it’s probably only worth 1.5 cents.

    You have probably learnt as much as you are going to learn from a book or teacher.
    Now the real learning starts.
    People and subjects(Life)will be your teacher from now on.

    Forget about other people’s expectations of you and your work and focus on doing the best that you can in the moment.You will make mistakes-forget about them.

    Move on swiftly.

    Let the universe bring you the situations and people that you need,so that you can learn and succeed.

    Get into the game with gusto-give the “clients” a call in the morning.
    Let the rest take care of itself,no need to get in the way of life.That is why the mood.You are stopping the flow.You asked-you received now run with the ball.

    As far as David is concerned.
    Gotta go
    Billy Jean is at my door.

  2. Family Life May 28, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    Not sure who John is, but I agree with his advice! Firstly, regarding the photo story, I say 1) keep it simple and 2) choose something you know.

    Secondly, one thing I have learnt, is that Life is more about doing than thinking and as the saying goes, ‘he who hesitates is lost’. It is time to ACT girl. Just don’t give yourself time to think or over-analyse. No more playing it safe, playing the child, passing the buck or excuses. Enough of david what’s his face or Ree or Miss M, it is time to live Pia’s life. You are one of the most intelligent people I have ever known and have loads of potential and talent inside you waiting to be unleashed on the world. But potential on its own means nothing and talent not acted upon is wasted. What are you afraid of? Failure? Making mistakes? Looking silly? The truth is that even if all that happens you will discover it isn’t all that bad and you will probably learn from it (or discover some new unique style of photography in the process). Digging deeper, perhaps you are afraid of the opposite – of what you are actually capable of – of your own success. (?)
    Life is an adventure. Stop sitting on the sidelines and live it. Come on Pia, my friend – let your light shine. It is time.
    And if you don’t, I am going to come over there and kick your butt!

  3. dhewitson May 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Now see here, lady! Get your very talented and creative tail out there and use that camera. Or I’ll have to make an example of you … as I do every Tuesday anyway! Six kids lined up – what more can you ask for!

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