At the end of the year, I take some time to review my work and reevaluate my goals. I’m certainly not one of those people who does New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like to hold myself accountable and make sure that I’m using my time wisely to accomplish everything I want to do. During my review, I list what I think went well and what I would like to improve in the future. When I was a graduate student, I worked with Susan Griffin, a writing mentor and renowned feminist and author. Every time she looked at my writing, she would first tell me what I did well. She explained that it’s just as important to know what you’re doing right because you want to build on that.
Looking back at the past twelve months these are some of the strengths and weaknesses I found in my own work.
1.) An education in self-publishing: I had to wear many hats this year because I had to learn about the process of designing, printing, selling, and marketing my book. I’m by no means an expert, but the education I got this year will be extremely important for my future projects. No education goes wasted.
2.) I released Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits and won the Gold Award in Pop Culture and Photography from the Nonfiction Author’s Association Book Awards Program.
3.) I finally purchased a portable lighting kit: I’m not a very techie person and reading reviews on all the different types of lights felt overwhelming. I just want to turn it on and use it. Fortunately, with the help of other photographers, I found a kit that was perfect for my needs. I’m glad that I had to develop skills with natural light photography, but having the option for artificial lights will definitely be an improvement to my shoots.
Weakness (Or things I would like to improve)
1.) Patience: Patience is a virtue that I still lack at times. Sometimes things don’t work out as smoothly as I would like. When I started the self-publishing route, I had made a timeline. Unfortunately, events that were out of my control affected my timeline, and I had to remind myself to be patient. In the end, everything turned out just fine, but in the moment I got really upset. I think it’s normal to feel frustration at times, but I don’t want it to get the best of me. Self-publishing is a marathon and not a sprint.
2.) Organization: I’m not a slob, but sometimes I have put off filing and organizing because I didn’t make it a top priority. This most certainly backfired on me. I created more stress for myself, and I spent more time in the end because I had to look for the things that I should have filed or put in a spreadsheet. In the coming year, I will be working on setting aside time each day or week to make sure I keep up on filing and maintaining my workflow chart.
3.) Take more pictures: Photography is a craft. Using the camera regularly and working on artistic projects is important to me.