To Publish

By Bruce Webber
Posted 2022-01-01 in general

While discussing my plans for this project, a friend suggested I create a natural package. That is, create a video showing natural scenes as I read the text. This eliminated the need to talk to camera, a process I find difficult.

This video is by and large a natural package. Except for the image of Alex Kilbee and the Vivian Maier photos, I captured the b-roll and did not use any stock footage. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and rainy autumn, so much of the video has a flat and dreary look.

Here is the text of the video:

Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator... the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and the growth of our soul.

— Steven Pressfield, from The War of Art

In June 2020 I completed my term as president of my church. I had more time and energy, and felt a strong desire to express myself. I set up my website and started blogging. A friend asked if I planned to make audio recordings of what I wrote. I liked this idea and I recorded several podcast episodes. That fall I began exploring photography.

During this time I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Resistance, according to Pressfield, is a force which blocks creative expression. Resistance takes many forms, including fear of rejection. Pressfield encourages creators to publish their work despite their fears, indeed, because of their fears.

And so I published. Wanting to create quality work, I read On Writing by Stephen King, and studied The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I learned about audio and video production. I explored the technical aspects of photography and began to learn the art of it. I developed self-acceptance as I looked back on what I had created and saw how I had improved.

I continued to share my content, but began to have doubts.

Though I know they’ve always
Told you selfishness is wrong
Yet it was for me not you
I came to write this song

— Rush, from the song Anthem

On YouTube I enjoy the The Photographic Eye channel, created by Alex Kilbee. Kilbee focuses on developing vision and voice, rather than photographic gear. He often showcases the work of other photographers.

One of those photographers is Vivian Maier. During her life she took over 150,000 photographs but did not share these publicly. Her work was discovered around the time of her death, and is now critically acclaimed.

In his video called Why No One Needs To See Your Photography, Kilbee points out that Maier took photographs for the joy of it, without seeking approval. He concludes that photographers can be successful without sharing their images.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

— Howard Thurman

I reread The War of Art and realized that Pressfield’s advice is for professionals. I am an amateur. I do not need to publish what I create.

On the other hand, publishing is an important part of my self-expression. It meets my needs to be seen and known. Although Kilbee advises against chasing Instagram likes, he does recommend getting meaningful feedback from other photographers.

So I’ve decided to continue publishing. I’ll post content on my website for the small audience who views it.

And that is why you are able to watch this video.