Noise. There’s so much of it. To actually sit and be still with our own thoughts seems impossible in this day and age. It takes a really conscious effort to do it.
The creative industry, specifically, is full of noise. It comes in the form of inspiration, influence and all of the pretty little things.
It’s not always bad. In fact, it can be a really great thing. It’s a source of education, encouragement and that little boost of confidence when you need it most.
There comes a point, though, when you can’t hear your own voice if you dive too deep into the noise. You don’t know if you’re doing what you’re doing because of a strong conviction within yourself or because you saw someone else doing something similar and you thought maybe you would try it out.
We hear the phrase “stay in your own lane” quite frequently, and I think it’s definitely something to always keep top of mind. But how can you stay in your own lane when you’re constantly looking at the other lanes? You’re bound to swerve and drift at least a little bit if you’re not keeping your eyes focused straight ahead.
And that’s where I find myself today. Swerving. Drifting. Unsure of what my lane even looks like or what it should look like.
My Instagram feed is full of the most beautiful photos and words of inspiration and I soak them all in like a sponge. But the truth is that I do it so much that I’ve lost sight of why I started photography in the first place.
My focus has – to some extent – shifted from capturing beautiful moments for couples and families to educating, creating content that will resonate with my fellow creatives and curating a beautiful feed.
I say “to some extent” because of course I still capture those moments. I am still a photographer. But much of my attention has been shifted elsewhere.
I can’t deny that I enjoy educating or supporting other creatives. Nor can I deny that it puts a smile on my face when those top six to nine squares of my Instagram feed look so beautifully cohesive.
But the feeling I get when I’m able to document a heartfelt moment between a bride and groom or a mother and her child is absolutely, undeniably, 100 percent unmatched.
THAT is why I do what I do. And so I’ve decided to take a step back.
I’m not declaring that educating through the blog or Instagram is no longer a part of my future. I still enjoy it after all. I just need to decide if it fits into my mission and into my life, and if so, how does it fit in?
And in taking that step back and setting some time aside to reflect, that means that I’ll be a bit more quiet than usual – on the blog, on Instagram, on my email list…
Because it’s really really difficult to determine your own direction and see your own path clearly when you’re making noise and glancing at the other lanes.
Some of you may have been through this in the past, going through it right now, or perhaps you’ll go through it at some point in the future. I think it’s a phase that’s inevitable for any creative.
And if you’re in that phase or when you get to it, I encourage you to give yourself space and time to reflect and listen. Listen to yourself, to God or whatever higher being you believe in and let those thoughts sink in before you make your next move.
I’ll be the first person to tell you that this is a scary place to be. It certainly takes some courage to step away from one of your biggest marketing platforms. But in the end when there’s clear, convicted direction in your heart, it will be all worth it. At least I think so… I’ll let you know for sure when I get there 🙂