Feeding Your Muse

The muse is a common concept among bloggers and writers alike.

Writers block can become quite common when a blank page or screen is before your eyes.

As I write this, this very topic had been a work in progress for months which is very typical for this blog.

Writing is hard! Yet pushing through this Resistance makes the reward so much more worth it.

Thus, the topic of this entry…the Muse!

Speak even if your voice shakes. Take that image even if everything tells you not to.

What’s the Muse and why do I ‘Have it’?

The Muse is like your creative conscience in a sense. This special term is a fancy way of saying creativity is that of a muscle that needs to be trained.

Usually the Muse is referenced for writing, however I believe any creative pursuit can produce this quality, photographers included!

To feed your muse is to nourish the ideas that may be marinating in your head. To feed it means to allow time to rest or be inspired in the interim.

Relax (Not Lower) Your Expectations

Notice the careful wording, I am in no way saying to be lazy with your photography or other creative work.

However striking a balance I’ve found to be the best way to approach creating something. Always try your best to produce quality imagery, but know when to fold or back off.

Learn how to get out of your own way.

Attitude can help, and yes it’s nice to walk around with the gusto and mojo that it will be a good day out photographing.

However I don’t set myself up for failure by having way too high of expectations. You simply cannot demand a perfect photograph taken on every trip.

No photographer has ever created AAA+ quality portfolio-worthy shots every single time. Those that say that are lying or their quality and self-worth must be flawed.

If you expect this out of yourself too, then you will be disappointed.

Every single time.

The best you can is good enough, sometimes seeing and admiring your subject from afar is what lesson is learned on that day.

Realize when it’s time for a break.

The creator realizes that they cannot realistically create indefinitely.

A temporary respite helps nourish and feeds the muse, much like recharging the batteries in your tired camera.

Creating is an exercise and a meditation. It is a physical and mental task from which the mind is stimulated.

From my experience, burnout occurs when I am outdoors for a full day. You may be productive with that time however the entire process still takes a lot of energy to produce.

Not to mention the many miles you may be hiking or other conditions present such as weather, etc.

So, take some time for yourself. Don’t touch the camera for a day, a week, a month, a year. However long is needed to be your best self.

Fear not, your audience will understand and be patiently waiting.

The Inner Self-Talk of a Creator.

Watch the words you say!

We are our own worse critics and every artist is inherently insecure to varying degrees.

However we must be careful with negativity.

I’ve found there to be times whilst out in the field where I will put myself down.

Have you ever said the following things?..

“Eh, it’s not worth taking photo anyways.”

“No one is gonna care about this image.”

“This isn’t worth creating.”

Learn to tame your brain.

A blurry mess of a photo of a bird flyover, however there will be another chance to photograph this one up close someday.

Be Yourself, Seek Simplicity

Sometimes the workflow (planning, shooting, editing, repeat) can become a chore.

Try out a personal project, one that’s made just for you and no one else!

Go out with the camera to a completely new or very familiar location. Get lost in your surroundings, the sights and sounds around.

Allocate some downtime at the end of every week to make this special occasion happen!

A spell of boredom can harness beautiful moments for your career, aspiration or hobby.

Get messy with it, have fun!

You may be very surprised with the outcome.

Never. Stop. Creating.

For me, a photograph needs a reason to exist, an inspiration, a motivation.

And to use whatever means possible to achieve that end result; the photograph.

We must make the most of what we have here in front of and around us.

After all, half of life is just showing up.

If you just show up, then the photos will happen. They may not be the best or worst however they need to be made anyways to improve your craft.

How do you feed your muse? Leave a comment down below and let’s get a conversation started about this topic!

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The ‘All Outdoors Photography Podcast‘ is a show where we discuss stories from out in the field, techniques and gear with two outdoor photographers and various guests.

Available in video form on YouTube and audio on Spotify, Google Podcasts and all your other favorite podcast apps. Follow us on Instagram as well for more interaction and updates!

Awaken Creative Seeing with Charles Needle All Outdoors Photography Podcast

In today’s episode, we have Charles Needle on the show  Follow Charles: Website: http://www.charlesneedlephoto.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charles.needle.16/ Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/charlesneedlephotography Book: Impressionistic Photography: A Field Guide to Using Your Camera as a Paintbrush Flashlight: multi-color flashlight    About the Show: Welcome to the All-Outdoors Photography Podcast! This podcast is about all things nature photography, including landscapes, wildlife, macro, and more. The show also features many guests who are professionals in their respective genres. The show features two talented photographers Henry Doyle and Ryan Taylor who both bring their different and unique photography experiences to the podcast. Episodes are released weekly every Tuesday at 1 pm EST.   Follow the Show: Email Us: alloutdoorsphotographypodcast@gmail.com   Linktree (Links to all Podcast Platforms) – http://www.linktr.ee/AllOutdoorsPodcast Instagram- https://bit.ly/3jKBTmUYouTube- https://bit.ly/32WB5FJ  Follow the Hosts:  Henry Doyle   Instagram- https://bit.ly/3jHhIX0YouTube- https://bit.ly/2X0XldT Ryan Taylor Website- http://www.ryanltaylor.com Blog- https://bit.ly/2Nd3r8LYouTube- https://bit.ly/3meslRj #AOPP #AllOutdoors #PhotographyPodcast
  1. Awaken Creative Seeing with Charles Needle
  2. Into the Tundra of Nome Alaska
  3. A Different View with Karl Yost
  4. The Great Plains with Tom Croce
  5. A Feathered Focus with Tony Gazso

Published by Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a 26 year old photographer located in Beavercreek Ohio, United States. Specializing in wildlife and landscapes both big and small, Ryan has sought to capture many different natural locations throughout the Buckeye State and beyond.

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