Don’t Forget Why

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Taking photos because the light is good.
Taking photos because the light is good.

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Joel’s Journal - Entry #119 - 2/27/2017

I think this is particularly important when trying to write something new on a daily basis.

It’s easy to get lost in the creating, creating, creating, I find myself forgetting why I set out to do this stuff in the first place. I think it’s almost like that old commercial for drinking and driving, you know the one where there’s the view from the dashboard and as the car starts to move, empty foamy glasses of beer are placed in front of the camera until you can barely see anything and the car crashes.

If you continue to put the creation aspect in front of the other reasons you have for writing, or taking pictures or make videos, or whatever it is that you do, you can actually forget about why you started in the first place.

The WHY always needs to remain in the back of your mind. I write it every day for fuck’s sake and I still forget it.

I’m doing this because I love it, and I think with any passion that can become lost sometimes.

With photographers and videographers I think it’s easy to get lost in the gear, lost in the newest technologies, lost in all of these things that you think you NEED when really they are just WANTS and the only thing you need is a camera, ANY camera, and that desire that got you started in the first place.

For me, I kind of came to this realization last week and to smash through that wall I sat down with a few glasses of wine and wrote a short story.

There wasn’t any plan for it, I knew I would eventually share it with you guys, but I was just writing for the sake of writing. I didn’t even have the idea fully formed in my head. And that was okay!

All I had was this general concept of leaving a girlfriends house at two separate times, years apart. I didn’t know if it was the same girlfriend. Was it the same house? How far apart were the timelines? I had no idea, I just started writing and it all kind of came together.

I made a few time jumps, got creative with the way I interlaced the story (trying something I’ve never done before) and finished the night with the skeleton of a story that I was fairly happy with.

By the end of the night I felt fantastic. It could have been the wine, but I also think it was just plain old satisfaction. The feeling that only comes with completing something you love because you wanted to do it, not because anyone, anything or any self-imposed deadline told you too.

I think that comes through in the work too. A lot of my entries in this journal are stilted, rushed and without much feeling. It was probably because I was exhausted at the end of the day and just wanted to go to bed.

In the years to come when I read back through those, I’ll be able to take at least that fact away, if not a few memories of what that day was like. Because while to you, these entries are brief glimpses into what my life is like, to me, each of these words is like a switch that could easily trigger a series of other memories that never made it onto the page.

In closing, that’s really the only thing I wanted to talk about today. It’s important not to lose that fact, the WHY you do something is important. While the HOW and the WHEN and all of those things take the front when you’re actually DOING it, the why should always be kept in a safe place on the sidelines, not locked away.

That way you can ensure you’re doing what you love and doing it well.

Thanks for reading!

J.J.W.