How Do You Work?
How do you work? What is your optimal working environment to do your creative work?
For me, I work quietly in my home office, which I try to keep free of clutter, i.e., piles on my desk. To organize my day, I make a list on paper of items that I hope to complete. Invariably, the list is never checked off completely! Currently, I spend the vast amount of my time working on my long-term dog photography project. I edit images; work on the logistics of photo shoots; go to photo shoots; follow up with rescue and shelter organizations; consistently maintain and update data in a large spreadsheet; and prepare blog posts.
I find that I am able to focus when I get plenty of rest. Working on each image can take many hours and it is very tedious work, which requires much concentration, and some days I have better results than others. For me, it is easiest to concentrate on one image at a time, and when I am done, I always go back to each image to see what I might have missed. Also, time away from an image can help me see the image with a new perspective, so I implemented a practice of revisiting each image at a later date to ensure I am happy with the final image or to continue further editing of the image. Working on a body of work is like a puzzle and you have to finish to see how the pieces come together to see which images really are strong and work with the body of work and determine which images do not serve the body of work. This process is very intuitive.
I find working on my images is a very meditative process and I often can get into a zone while I am working. When I work, I turn both the email off and the Internet off and concentrate on the task at hand, and I set a dedicated time later in the day for checking email, etc. Victory is always close by. However, she still likes to stay in her hut! However, when I sit on the sofa and work when I am not working on images, Victory always comes over and sits next to me. Biscuit always slept near my feet while I worked. I still very much miss having Biscuit close by. Most days, I can work for hours at a time and the time seems to just zoom by. Other days, I need more breaks and the days seems a bit longer, depending upon the work.
I am a morning person. We go to bed early and wake up early. I am more alert and focused in the earlier hours of the day. I think that is when I do my best work. Everyone is different and works differently, and it is interesting to hear how other work on their creative work.
The most important lesson I have learned is to keep showing up and keep leaning into the work each day, even during the most challenging times.