After five years of blogging, I took an extended break from posting on this site. It was not a deliberate decision. It just happened.
During this time I still blogged, but I shifted from a verbal to a visual format, migrating from this WordPress platform to Instagram.
Upon reflection, I’ve identified reasons why I found myself sharing my pictures rather than my words. Those reasons include:
- Better engagement. When I began blogging, I thought this would be a good way to connect and converse with others. Perhaps it was my writing style, but I found myself posting monologues rather than engaging in conversations. In retrospect, I realize that most people are like me – they are more naturally drawn to colorful pictures than to columns of gray type.
- Too snarky. I realized my blog posts were starting to have an edge of cynicism and sarcasm. At work, I was enduring wave after wave of reorganizations that left most of us confused and disoriented. Many of my unpublished posts were written during this time of chaos. Those unshared writings were my attempt to make sense of what was happening. While they were cathartic, they were best left confined to the pages of my private journal rather than being shared publicly in a blog.
- Creative expression. The seemingly-endless corporate restructuring slowly sapped much of my creative energy. In this world, we each have a unique voice that gives us something to share with others. On a personal level, I felt compelled to expand my options for doing that. Photography provided a creative outlet that gave me renewed energy and purpose. Instagram provided a much-needed platform for my creative expression.
- Positive optimism. As my Instagram adventure progressed, I found myself focusing on the beauty in the world surrounding me. I discovered that within the ordinary I could always find something extraordinary. I’ve long believed that whatever one focuses on will expand. I chose to focus on the beauty surrounding me, and the more I looked for it, the more of it I found.
- Connecting, not dividing. Photography transcends the barriers of language, geography, politics, religion and other divisive elements in our world. Words are too easily used as weapons to divide and destroy. For me, sharing photos provided a way to unite and to build bridges where fences had once been erected.
Writing and photography are not mutually exclusive. I will keep writing, and I also will keep snapping pictures. In the weeks and months ahead, I anticipate finding the appropriate balance between both.
The renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Besson once said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” If a picture is worth a thousand words, then, by my math, I believe that my first 10 million words will be my worst. I’ll keep plodding along, though.
Wonderful piece, Duane! I am a fan of both your writing and your photographs. Please keep up the good work. I will be the first purchaser of the coffee table book as soon as it is available!!!! Cheers!
Oh, you’re so nice, Alana. Thank you. Your kind words carry special meaning because they come from someone i admire as a blogger, as a self-published author, as a public speaker and as a genuine, authentic person. I’m fortunate to have you as a friend.