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The Viewfinder

By Gary Randall

The Viewfinder

I was not the best student in school. In most cases I was a C+ student because I was not one to apply myself. I was just not inspired and I liked to daydream. It was when I became an adult that I realized how much I like to write. I am certainly not prolific and am more prone to short stories, reflecting my short attention span, I am sure. I am not skillful and so it is easy for someone who is more knowledgeable to pick apart the mechanics of my rambling essays, but that does not discourage me from writing. If someone criticizes your writing, they have an issue with what you have written, not how it is written.

Today writing is much easier than it was in the past when one needed to use a typewriter or even paper and pencil. The introduction of modern computers and word processing software makes writing much easier. It will even help with basic sentence structure and spelling, a feature I know well.

Writing has less to do with proper grammar than it does the message you are trying to convey. A lot of people think that, before they can become a writer, they must be perfectly skilled in writing. Do not let your skill, or lack thereof, stop you from writing down what you have to say.

Although I am motivated to write for several reasons, such as explaining photography and art, documenting local history and recounting the experiences in my past, I write the most to help other artists and photographers. I enjoy helping others and this is a terrific way to do that. I write about things that I know well and am enthusiastic about sharing. I keep a blog, like a diary, on my website. It is there that I save and share what I have written.

The number of people following me and my photography online has increased tremendously since I have been writing and sharing with others. And with that increase in my following comes an increase in my overall exposure, resulting in more success for my business.

An added benefit of my writing is that it allows me to focus and block out everything else. It gives me an almost meditative time alone in my office as I type my thoughts. When I stopped stressing about whether my writing was grammatically perfect and forgot about what other people might feel about it, I started enjoying it more. It no longer became a chore or something to avoid. When that barrier was gone, I started writing more.

Don’t worry about anything, just put your thoughts down. Once you’ve written it, share it on your chosen form of social media or even your own website. You’ll be surprised how many people will enjoy what you have to say or will benefit from what you know. Then print it out and put it into a folder for yourself. There’s just something about holding a photo or a story that’s been put to paper and held in your hand that feels good. Extra credit goes to those who choose to use a pen and paper.

I encourage everyone to write, especially my artist friends. Taking the time to write has helped me to relax, contemplate my work, and feel inspired about my art even more. It has helped build a community centered around my art as well as an interest in me as an artist.

I cannot stress enough how important writing has become in my life. I encourage you to take some time to get started. Write about something you love or feel passionate about. No matter what it is, start writing today.

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