Artistry—And The B & W Photo Challenge

Still reading On Writing Well, and of course, loving it—but then, how could anyone not?

To dispel some rumors about writers, some excerpts:

  • If your job is to write every day, you learn to do it like any other job.
  • Professional writers are solitary drudges who seldom see other writers.
  • "Do you put symbolism in your writing?" "Not if I can help it," I replied. I have an unbroken record of missing the deeper meaning in any story, play or movie, and as for dance and mime, I have never had any idea of what is being conveyed.
  • It had never occurred to me that writing could be easy.
  • Professional writers rewrite their sentences over and over and then rewrite what they have rewritten.
  • Clear thinkers are clear writers.
  • The clear writer is someone who is clearheaded enough to see fuzz for what it is: fuzz.

My uncle challenged me to the black and white challenge, a social media inspired fad to take a black and white picture that describes your life every day for a week. There are only two rules: no people, and no explanation. I spent a surprising amount of time coming up with a good picture to define every day, then took every shot until I got the one I wanted, then messed with the settings so it looked exactly how I thought it should.

It's funny how a lot of artistic expression is exactly the same—you think about what you want to do, you do it (a first time, a second time . . . a twentieth time), and when it finally looks (says, sounds, etc.) how (what) you want it to after way too much time, you release it to the public. The public (as it were) thinks you just snapped a picture running past, scribbled down the sentence on a napkin, or real quick wrote and recorded that song before breakfast this morning.

But it's not exactly like that.

Producing clear content takes work, contemplation, and a lot of editing. But the outcome is worth it, because the artist who can clearly and simply communicate an idea is the artist who is mastering his craft.

PS. My 7 black and white pictures . . .

 Day 1, Sunday. Rest (and a TOASTY warm office).

Day 1, Sunday. Rest (and a TOASTY warm office).

 Day 4, Wednesday. Responsibility (and a LOBSTER bag from Ikea).

Day 4, Wednesday. Responsibility (and a LOBSTER bag from Ikea).

 Day 2, Monday. Home (and a BLUE throw rug).

Day 2, Monday. Home (and a BLUE throw rug).

 Day 5, Thursday. Productivity (and YELLOW LEMON salt and pepper shakers and COFFEE).

Day 5, Thursday. Productivity (and YELLOW LEMON salt and pepper shakers and COFFEE).

 Day 3, Tuesday. Love (and YELLOW SUNFLOWERS).

Day 3, Tuesday. Love (and YELLOW SUNFLOWERS).

 Day 6, Friday. Celebrating Jesus (with RED and SPARKLY ornaments).

Day 6, Friday. Celebrating Jesus (with RED and SPARKLY ornaments).

 Day 7, Saturday. Curtis (he's very wonderful). I realize I broke the rule, but how could I post about my life without crediting such an integral part of it?

Day 7, Saturday. Curtis (he's very wonderful). I realize I broke the rule, but how could I post about my life without crediting such an integral part of it?