This post is only tangentially about writing. It’s more about the pursuit of creating something. It’s about craft.
I am a photographer. I worked hard and spent years learning the craft. And then re-learning it when I put away the darkroom chemistry in exchange for a DSLR and photoshop. Photographers like to talk about their gear. A lot. We spend a lot of money on gear. But it’s entirely possible to take an extraordinarily shitty photograph with good gear, while also not out of the realm of possibility to knock the world on its ass with a Canon Rebel. Or an iPhone, even.
So the other day in a facebook discussion about gear, I confessed some gear lust, and then confessed that I did the bulk of my shooting with a 5-year old mid-level crop sensor DSLR. (in otherwords, I haven’t upgraded my camera body in a long-ass time).
Another photographer told me flat out “Wow, V, I never would have guessed that’s what you were shooting. You OWN that 30D.”
Yeah. I do. I bet that camera would make toast if I asked it to. I learned my craft, I honed my craft, and I make the camera do what I want it to do–make the image I want it to make.
Writing a story is different–being able to type isn’t going to translate to vision. Though it’s a damn sight better than getting a huge writing callus on the inside of my middle finger. Finding the story, telling the story, that’s the craft. And, unlike my 30D, it isn’t something that can be OWNED inside of 5 years, if I work hard enough at it. It’s something that continuously grows and changes and metamorphoses.
I aspire to OWNing my craft. For now, it’s kind enough to let me borrow it whenever my muse comes knocking.