February 23rd, 2017
On Getting back to work and re-falling in love with what you do
One of the biggest goals I wanted to achieve this year was to stop procrastinating on my creative projects and start executing all the ideas I’ve had in my head for years. Don’t let the polished images on Pinterest and social media fool you, everyone struggles with something. Mine has been prioritizing and executing my own creative projects. While I love a gorgeous flat-lay as much as the next gal, this year I want my work to be more than just pretty vignettes. I want to push the envelope, blow off the dust off all my ‘ideas’, and start checking them off the list, one by one.
Let’s rewind for a moment…
It started off like any other Sunday, woke up, play time with J, church, lunch and then the snow came. Like so many times before I had a laundry list of ‘to-do’s’ that I felt I should be doing but knew I wanted take advantage of the snow.
Cue: Familiar and annoying internal tug-a-war.
The last time this happened I let my to-do get the best of me and afterwards I was really bummed I didn’t just go for it. Laundry, editing some photos and cleaning out our closets could have waited but it was the easier choice aka fear of failure disguised as rationalization. I vowed that the next time it snowed I’d be ready to put everything on hold and get out side and have a little fun!
That’s the thing with your mind. It plays tricks on you! To the point that I had my boots on, gear packed and ready to get out the door and I heard myself saying to Kosta ‘Maybe we should just stay home and finish the laundry?’ Thankfully, he knows me all too well and called me out on it SO fast. I made a mental note on how interesting it was that I was resisting this so much.
When I became a mother my entire world revolved (and still revolves) around my baby. I also felt the person I was pre-baby was this distant stranger. Remnants of her were left behind mixed in with this new role as ‘mom’. At first I tried to do to much too quickly, I pushed myself back into my work too soon and as a result I resisted it.
I took a month off (really off) from work, then another and soon I just didn’t feel that urge to pick up my camera (other than when I was taking photos of Yianni of course). January arrived and I knew I was going to ‘get back to work’ soon but something inside was just different. I didn’t have that urge. I didn’t feel that spark. I still loved what I did but my passion felt depleted and fizzled out. The only thing that made me come alive was spending time with my bebe, making him smile and laugh is what I wanted most. I started to worry I’d never ‘feel like’ myself again and wondered what I was going to do getting back to work?
I didn’t have a clear vision of where I wanted this year to go, I felt so so stuck it was paralyzing. It seemed every direction I pushed myself to go was a dead end. So, I decided to start by looking back.
Patience is the word that kept coming up. I didn’t want to push myself back into my work too soon. If theres one thing I’ve learned the energy of the work you put out there permeates.
When I sat down to go over my goals for the year I opened up my notebooks and binders where I had pages and pages of project ideas. Photoshoot ideas, new print collection ideas, blog ideas, design ideas…you name it I had a list for it. I read them all and payed attention to the ones that seemed to spark something inside me. Sidebar: I won’t lie, this was also pretty painful to do when you see an idea from 2015 that you somehow ‘haven’t had a chance to get around to it’. What gives Anna? I found myself asking.
It’s very common amongst entrepreneurs, they start a business because they love what they do, they get busy, then they get busier and before they know it you don’t have time to do the thing that made you start in the first place! You have an amazing idea, you procrastinate, you put in your head all the reasons why you can’t ‘start’ – I have other things to do, its too last minute, we have cleaning and laundry to do instead…the list goes on.
So I made a promise to myself after seeing my ‘Into The Woods’ idea on one of my lists (remembering I had ordered the smoke bombs over a year ago) to just start small, without any expectations. I thought, Bebe J was napping inside with my in-laws and Kosta and I ventured out to their back property to set off some smoke bombs and test out the photos. I cannot tell you all how exciting it was. Running around, laughing, trying to ‘get the shot’ seeing what worked, what didn’t work and then envisioning how I wanted the final image to get into place.
Something inside me that day just clicked back into place. Kosta saw it, I felt it. The next day I woke up excited, happier and since I’m being honesty, relieved.
My advice if you’re trying to fall back in love with what you do is to go back to why you started. Work on a project that sparks curiosity, creativity and that you feel just so damn excited about!
And now my new project is on it’s way, new smoke bombs are ordered, I’m patiently waiting for the next snowfall and somehow I feel like I’m ready to dive back into work but even better than before.
Want to know the hardest part about photography? Is showing up. Once you’re present, amazing things happen.
Don’t wait for the perfect day, a well thought out plan of attack, or someone to ‘push’ you to get it done. Don’t Wait. Get up and get started – just take the first step to get the momentum going and extraordinary things with happen!
I’m sharing this with you all today in hopes it inspires some of you to get a move on something you’ve wanted to do but always find an excuse to put it off. Start small and take one step towards that goal.
This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but if you’re reading this and you’ve struggled with procrastinating on those projects that you know will ignite your passion then you’ll get exactly what I’m talking about. Get off the internet right now and take one small step towards making it happen for yourself! If you don’t, no one will. I believe in you, you can do it and it’s going to be everything you ever hoped it would be!
Okay 2017…now we’re getting it!
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So inspirational, I loved reading about your story. I'm struggling right now to figure out what I love and what I want to do with my life and I always think…what's going to happen when I start a family? Is all of that going to go away when I'm focused on raising a child. It's been nice to hear about your side of it.
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Thank you! Thank you!
Anna, This was a WONDERFUL post!
Not only are you and exceptional stager and photographer, you are a very good writer as well!
This is a wonderful post Anna. The best philosophy!!!! Ps I love the photos!!!
Love this post! Just what we all need to be reminded to stop putting things off and go for it! XOXO
I loved this, thank you so much for sharing! I know so many of us including myself struggle with this exact thing so it's inspiring to hear how you overcame that fear of diving in. This weekend I also found a notebook with ideas from 2015 and just about gagged because they were great ideas!! But I had just never gotten to them. So here's to diving in and refinding the groove. Thank you again ❤