ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing - Do More Planning or Take Meaningful Action

Updated on February 6, 2016

Introduction

Getting Published, maybe it's not as big a deal today with the advent of the blog. Yet somehow this desire attracts interested writer's from all over the world, it motivated me. My goal for this lens is to explore and compare the fruits from lots of planning versus, taking one thoughtful focused action. If you've read my lens Newspaper Journalism ~ The Photography Stringer you know how my first photos got published.

Those first images shared with a larger audience inspired me to begin planning behind the scenes in file cabinets. I purchased Photographer's Market textbooks, and took information on addresses and contacts for publishers I was interested in. Money was spent on colored file tabs, and hanging file folders. Suddenly, I was more organized than ever before, and spent countless hours compiling then storing information. It's something still done today, yet much smaller in scale. Truth be told the staff here at Squidoo helped me remember the importance of creating new content, sharing it thoughtfully, and in a timely fashion. A heartfelt thanks goes out to them, I love this!

Make Time to Create

The File Cabinets

That data from many sources got printed, then dropped into file folders meticulously. Title tabs were written out, even color coded then attached. Folders were planned for future content most never filled with anything. My file cabinet looked pretty, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment, I had a dream, and was working it.

A bit embarrassed now to say how long this went on, but here it is, nearly a decade! Sending self addressed stamped envelopes brought submission guidelines back that were dutifully dropped into the beautiful folders. I was on my way, LOL! I joke, it did have some value, had to go thorough it, and in fact it's perfect. You see, I had a plan, thinking at some point a masterpiece would be created, then published simultaneously at dozens of publications. Today, I've learned several things unknown then, maybe the most important, content must be unique and original! No telling how much time and money was spent that could have been used more effectively for creating images or writing. Soon, a much different more "right sized" approach would be taken.

I'm interested in the interconnectedness of things, an event was coming to help push me along. I kept reading, learning, and pondering how to share with a larger audience. More importantly, a question continued appearing, what would I share? Intuitively, I knew something was missing, maybe the kart was before the horse. Frustrated with the unknowns, instincts pushed me to do what I knew, take some pictures. A trip across the Southwest was planned lasting a month or more. The next day, a car was rented, off I went.

Content or Wisdom Quest

Deep into the trip, fatigue began to set in, desire and dreams were teaching me valuable lessons. They do not come free, and in fact take focused work and intention. An incredible lonesomeness took hold, I wanted to go home, then like a gift from the heavens, something wonderful happened.

Night was falling, I did not have a place to stay. Camping was my chosen method of rest, although motels were mixed in occasionally when car aroma would indicate bathing was needed. However, I had traveled into Monument Valley and there was not a town within miles. Suddenly, almost all at once, a huge storm came behind me from the East. My lonely feeling was replaced with excitement, I searched for a place to pull over. Bright flashes of light were filling the sky, it smelled different, the energy was palpable.

My journalism background informed me, there was no time to ponder long on decisions. Rushing out of the car unprotected set up, tripod extended, camera attached, first exposure started, then CRACK the first lightning strike. My brain said "you got it" film cameras had no preview, emulsion had to be developed. No way to know, there was no time to look anyway. Just as I got the first few exposures, the storm reached me with blowing rain and hail pelting my face. Retreating to the car, I crawled into the back seat. Somehow the tripod was set again, on the seat with one leg extended to the floor. The window was cracked open and the lightning began striking to the West.

Another Strike Captured Shooting West

The second lightning strike I captured would set the sail for a lifetime obsession, Storm Chasing. The weather moved quickly away and within minutes, clouds cleared and I could see remains of the sunset. Disappointed, I sighed and wondered what to do next, that's right, chasing was about to commence. In those days I had no scanner, laptop, or weather radio. On my own, I just drove towards the eye on an available road. Hours later, having to stop exhausted, I realized it could not be caught. Content with what I had, camp was made for the night, this time successfully. Read on just below if you wish....

Writer's Market at Amazon

A must have for all creatives, as mentioned in this lens, these textbooks are filled with invaluable information for all creatives!

Returning Home a New Project Emerged

Finally, returning home became necessary, I had just moved out west and did have a rented house, my own car in the garage. I was in between jobs and had to find one, but knew this new journey would have to be honored.

Having written a short story in school, I remembered enjoying it, and the instructor had encouraged me. Art needs a story, it's clear, I wanted to write one, and finally, the light-bulb came on, it had to be on the lightning experience. I went to the file cabinet, and soon realized it was nearly useless for this exercise. This is really the focus of this lens, nothing was going to happen until a story was crafted. I had to get started, and I did. Sitting down I brainstormed, it was then that a whole new plan emerged. Having talked with many published authors and hopeful "Want to Be's", most of them were cynical. They advised me to ready for an endless flow of rejection letters.

Forging ahead, once I sat down the story nearly wrote itself, I knew this time, the plan would be different. One piece would be written, and edited at least three times, then sent to one publisher. That's right, ONE! Over the next few years that story sat in the spiral notebook where it was crafted. My mind wondered, was I ready to endure the "endless stream of rejection" all the writer's told me would come? One day, I focused, sat down, and found the energy to enter those words into Microsoft's Word editing software. It was becoming more real, finally, meaningful action was creating things that could be seen, looked at, edited. Shared with one friend, then another, they were encouraging, but just polite I figured, somehow along the way I had picked up a self limiting belief. Down deep I thought writing was for the smart people, and I was not one of them. This belief was confirmed again when I confided in a relative and the response I'd heard before stung, "Oh Chris, just get a real job, it's easier". Somehow, I decided not to listen, I picked three pictures, laid them into the document, then decided on my first recipient! Nature Photographer Magazine was going to receive the story, off it went via email to an amazing individual, her name is Helen.

Months passed, it was agonizing, but finally, Helen reached out to me. She had good news, she wanted to publish the story! But, could I just offer one other picture, she asked, her vision was perfect, and I consented, sending her a few more images. A few more months passed and one day a box came to my house, it was heavy. 25 copies of the magazine were contained inside along with a check! It had happened, my first article, published, no rejection, the opening try. Happiness floated around for days, a copy of the first two pages of the spread lay below.

The Lightning Hunter

Another challenge for the artist is when to stop! Maybe that's why photography picked me, it's a click, finished. Not too much to decide after that unless your into post production, I'm not, again, the journalism influence, make it real, authentic. There's this story, calling it complete, to summarize.

1. Get Started

2. Go with what you know

3. Don't over-plan, the Qwest takes on a life of it's own

4. More will be revealed as you move along.

5. Share fearlessly

Now go find your light and shine it!

Good luck!

Christopher

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Julia Cameron Knows what it takes to live the life of an Artist. Get her book to start or accelerate your Qwest to the next level. It's an empowering book that adresses issues faced in life not just creating. My copy is well worn and needs to be replaced from years of hard use.

 

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Golfman7 profile image

      Golfman7 

      5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)