Finding gratification when you are challenged is not always right before your eyes. Often as not, it takes time and a lot of effort before that "tahdah, I'm done" moment happens and a smile erupts across your face.
Knowing you will have support, will get feedback, albeit positive or negative, makes taking a chance to get involved a little more enticing.
That's where I found myself five days ago. Presented with a challenge from Charli Mills to find five pictures of my choice and write something that would pair nicely with them.
Without hesitation, I accepted. I could think of 100's of my 1000's of pictures that would be worthy as a photo prop for a story, but all I needed was five.
First there was a really long list, then the maybe list, then the short list and finally the five list.
Interpretation of each picture took me on a quest to show how I felt about each one.
Snake Fence Memories, Cattail Down, Crystal Jewels, Power’s Out and Reflection are the five pieces that have now been submitted.
Challenge complete, gratified and smiling.
Take your mind away to an unfamiliar destination. One filled with inspirations to pursue any part of life that is dear to the heart. An ambiance like no other that has been constructed with the reality of life. Imagination fuelled by the mere sight of nothingness, or, everything within grasp.
On these trips away from the norm, nothing should be taken for granted. Especially the accessibility of subject matter. A recent DAKATAMA blog post starts out with a check list and very clearly, sometimes will end up empty-handed.
Be prepared. Gear up to write with a goal to avoid a blockage of words. Straying away from the normal, inspirational, comfort zone alcove where the pen and paper sit waiting need not be intimidating. Head held high and focusing on the diversity that has been presented for no other reason than this is a new destination.
Be prepared to return from the journey with nothing more than blank pages and the knowledge
there is more to absorb by taking the time to slowly re-visit your adventure.
Ask what was important about the time away. Why you decided to venture out? What did you think about? Where did you go and why? What and who did you see? What stories did someone tell you?
Gather the kindling from the answers. Use them to ignite a writing bonfire where words turn into stories and the vacant sheets turn into a compelling, attention grabbing, piece of prose.
Ann Edall-Robson is an author and award-winning photographer