Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Preparation Beats Back Fear

My mantra right now: Step through the doors that the Lord is opening (to write, do public speaking, and take photos). And when I get nervous and rather bury my talent, or completely doubt that I have any talent, then I need to prepare and practice as best I can.

Every new opportunity scares me. For instance, I had a wedding to photograph last weekend. It made me very nervous, even though I’ve shot weddings before. I tried to calm myself by giving myself a pep talk, but I finally realized that instead of positive self-talk, I should prepare, prepare. So, I reviewed the bride’s photo request list, wrote down poses I’d like to take, and looked at others’ photos in the Orange County Bride Magazine. Yes, I hated to spend so very much time prepping for a job, because then my hourly rate went down, down, but the alternative was to break out in a stress rash!

So, I’ve come to realize that for me, the only way to manage my stress is to practice and practice some more, whether the activity is a photo shoot or a speech.

Here are the results of the wedding photo shoot:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Always Finish What You Start

When aspiring writers ask for tips, here are two that I give:

  • You must be willing to write really terrible first drafts. Put your ego in your back pocket and sit on it while you write.

  • You must finish what you start, even if the piece of writing turns out to have been a flawed idea from the start. You can only learn about the process of writing by taking it all the way from beginning idea to polished work, over and over again.