What Is Right, What Works And What Matters

image: dan james

After a recent post on my daily yoga practice, a friend and fellow yogi wrote explaining how their practice was different.

They said that for them the breathing was key, and when they’re in the flow they don’t have much space to think about anything but the breathing and the yoga.

My first reaction was – “That’s not my experience at all – I must not be doing it right!”

Then I remembered that the way I do it works for me. That’s why I wrote that post in the first place, to share how core and valuable a practice it has become for me and my creativity.

I got to thinking about how right/wrong I do other creative things.

Since around last June I’ve been using film cameras almost exclusively, instead of digital.

If I only shot film the “right” way, I never would have modified my Holga to take 35mm film, panoramic photographs, or ones that exposed the sprocket holes.

If I just followed the rules, I would not have marinated film in lemonade, rum or food colouring, or cut, flipped and respooled a canister to shoot redscale photographs.

I certainly wouldn’t have made my own pinhole camera from a dismembered Kodak Instamatic, a foil baking tray and about five metres of black insulating tape.

None of these are the “right” way to shoot film. All of them work for me.

The end result is that I’m getting an immense amount of pleasure from my experimental photography adventure, and feeling happier in my creativity than perhaps I’ve ever done in my adult life.

We can start with the “right” way to create, if we choose to.

We can research and follow the rules, do what everyone else does, follow the well trodden path.

If that works for you, fantastic, carry on creating.

But what if you’re rarely creating anything that works for you?

What if your creative time never seems to bring you pleasure or excitement, because you always feel you have to stick to the right way of creating, the way others tell you it should be done?

The answer is – you’re missing out immensely. I would even question, under those conditions, is it worth creating at all?

What if , instead, you used those “rules” as a starting point?

What if you took the “right” way, then asked how you could tweak it in your unique way to make it more engaging and more enjoyable?

In short, how can you disregard what anyone else thinks, and create in a way that works and that matters for you?

Head over to our creative community CCS to share your thoughts…


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