There are some people in this world who are not only willing, but brave enough to say what needs to be said firmly and with perfect honesty that is also kind. They are very rare. I treasure those people. They are more concerned with helping me grow, even though it may not feel like it at the time, than they are in my personal comfort level (or theirs, for that matter) and they are worth their weight in gold. I do not underestimate the value in this.
I had such an encounter recently with Bryan Hutchinson of Positive Writer and I really want to thank him. I asked him for a critique of my blog and he was generous and sensitive with his time and advice. When I was finished thrashing around about it, and I was finally quiet in spirit ... I actually felt the light dawning. I hope he won't mind me quoting him again because it's so worth sharing. Here is a portion of his critique:
"It’s important to maintain a theme for your blog... and provide valuable information / stories within that topic. From time to time you can step out, but you want to maintain what your blog is about. Make sure it is clearly defined....within your particular niche... make sure you are deeply passionate about the topic. For most people it’s usually something they’ve been involved in for a long time and have a lot of knowledge and experience to share. If you want your blog to be your random musings, that’s okay too, but you won’t attract an audience past friends and family."
I am so grateful for my friends and family. Without them, it would be impossible to do what I do with as much freedom and emotional support as I am able to do it. They are my biggest and best support system and they are the ones who never give up on me, even when I am tempted to give up on myself. But there is some wonderful wisdom in his words and, if it is your desire to grow your blog, then it is a message well worth heeding. It is so important to me to be an artist (and truly.. a person) who is growing and not one who is stagnant. This turned out to be another one of those lessons that hurt when I was in the midst of it, but pushed me forward and upward and sent me sailing right out of the mud and back into the sunlight. Numbers have never been particularly important to me, but connection is. This blog is where I sing my heartsong. And that song is not only what drives me creatively... it is what nourishes me personally and fills up my days with poetry, music and light.
I am many things... sometimes contradictory things. But for the purposes of this blog and this website, I am a photographer who is especially fluent in the poetic and lyrical language of flowers. How cool is that? This website is my garden! It took me forever to figure that out, strange as that may seem given my body of work. Sometimes, the simplest answers are right under my nose but I am so busy looking beyond that and chasing who I think I am supposed to be, instead of resting in who I am.... that I miss it.
I hope if Bryan Hutchinson ever needs a flower photograph... he'll know just who to call.