“You have to love the doing of what you're doing and not wait for the phone to ring.” - Robert Stack
The new dad hat “blog is thicc” is all sorts of rad! embroidered and also features the bsmitty head logo on the right side
The legendary host of Unsolved Mysteries is right. I actually think that is top tier advice because that can be used for all things in life, whether you are a photographer, writer, landscaper, t-shirt printer, musician, the list can go on forever.
I started my website in 2006, if I had the mentality of just waiting around for a phone call for some thing that I thought up and glorified in my brain to happen, I would have closed down the website and stopped paying for it all. I was asked by a friend somewhat recently why I still shoot photos or why do I shoot photos, the question threw me off because I just live the art life, its who I am. I didn’t have an answer at the ready, but for me its not “why” it’s “when” when can I shoot, when can I edit, when can I blog, when can I study. This mindset is what got me to continue the doing, instead of waiting for that call. Another thing that I have found to be so important to the creative process is organization, and I’m not talking about making sure my files are backed up on hard drives, or my camera bag is organized and batteries charged. Those things are important, but I’m talking about mental organization. For many years, over a decade of time I pretty much would just stay up till 2am because that was how I made time for the art life. The problem is, it’s still cramming, being exhausted, zoning out, until the inevitable passing out in bed.
I started scheduling everything, time is super important when it comes to living the art life, I would like I said just save that time for midnight work. I would try to edit some stuff and post, post, post, basically like a robot cause I felt like things had to be immediate. The idea of getting the work out fast seems to be the way things go with social media. What I’ve learned is that you can actually deploy not just more content, but better, more engaging content by taking your time.
Here are some ways I’ve maximized my time, making more and better content.
create over consume - I’ve been consuming in a way that doesn’t take my attention away from the art life, for me, that’s been audiobooks, youtube interviews and such for audio, some classic unsolved mysteries for the background noise, and some music.. I usually listen to the same song on repeat at the particular time or bounce around a few songs back and forth. Consuming content in this way keeps you working and entertained if you are in the mood for that.
use internet like you would in life - I don’t watch the news or read the newspaper, I never did when I was younger. The internet is designed to grab your attention with headlines just like the news and newspapers. Here is a title I’m making up for an example. “Woman shoots man from rocket into the Grand Canyon.” Seems interesting why not read it? This is not to say that it’s something you have to ignore or whatever but for me, that event means absolutely nothing and wouldn’t matter if I knew it or not, I still do consume things like we all do, but I am deliberate at what I am doing, getting trapped into those websites that make you click NEXT 40 times to see behind the scenes photos of say The Shining exist for a reason, to retain your attention to get clicks for ad revenue. How to change the consumption to something better? Let’s say you seen that headline of behind the scenes photos from The Shining and you (and I would) consider that to be something actually positive to consume because it could be meaningful to you. You click on the link to realized its one of those NEXT sites (they are called click funnels) my suggestion would be from there go to Google and actually just search behind the scenes photos from The Shining and you’ll find a better site that actually hosts the photos in a more proper manner, or just browsing through Google images as well. Also, YouTube could be another option. - side note it doesn’t matter if you don’t mind browsing sessions, its just what I’ve been more aware of to pay attention to lately if I’m browsing. I’m not a stickler about it, not going to feel really bad if I laughed and rewatched a guy that was gliding down from the air and flew past a girl to smash into a van, or watch the video of Kawhi Leonard laughing 41 times. It’s more about being mindful of your time, because that is a huge variable with the doing.
And by the way, researching, studying, and learning more about what you are doing is a completely different thing. I encourage that for sure and is essential.
work ahead of time - everyone is unique and everyones time is unique. This is something that’s really changed my process and has made me a happier human. I was pretty much always and forever working on the thing I was about to post, whether its a photo on instagram or a post on facebook, it was the creating and deployment of thing one after another. Social media makes you think that this is the way. What I’ve learned is that taking the time to work ahead of time has been the key to not only creating content, but creating content that is more engaging, thorough, and even more fulfilling because more time has been put into the the process. Scheduling is critical for this, not just for the deployment of content, but when you are actually going to be going through the creative process. Whether that’s late night binges or windows of time, knowing when you can work will produce better work, randomly sitting down to work is a tough thing to do, that’s basically being a switch going from outside the bubble of the art life, in. Then actually scheduling the release of work, again whether that’s a instagram post, facebook post, or even a tweet. I’m not saying everything has to be that way but the main work. Scheduling whether mentally, within an app, or written or typed down and getting ahead of time will actual create more time to spend on a piece of content. For example if you take the time needed to get your content ready for the next week you have all the time within the week to work while having content to post so you can stay ahead and not feel rushed, some days you can get another day done, or even days, and you can days away without feeling like you need to work. This is all subjective knowledge, if you don’t care about posting on social media this can be used for your next cookbook if your a chef, scheduling the creative process and keeping things mentally organized will give you better results instead of working randomly without a plan or system in place.
That’s a lot to take in, but remember at its core it’s about making more time to create more and often better work. It is certainly not a literal only do this, or even only I do this. Enjoy the process no matter how you do it, just don’t wait around for a phone call.
“Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Therefore, give yourself fully to your endeavors. Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price of a worthy goal. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths. Remain steadfast...and one day you will build something that endures: something worthy of your potential.”