Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're all in this together

On Sunday I went to a BBQ hosted by my best friend Jaz who recently started a very successful photography business and was voted the UK's Funkiest Photographer.

But what made this BBQ special is that it was largely attended by her peers in the photography industry - and they fret about their work just as much as we writers do!

Just listening to their conversations was like listening to writers. They compared themselves to each other, as well as their heroes. They worried that people might realise they lacked confidence. They realised that they lacked a certain skill and wanted some help. They wanted to critique each other's work in a safe, supportive atmosphere.

Later that night I played Singstar: High School Musical with my goddaughter and we sang a song called We're All In This Together. It dawned on me that we are. All creative people fret. (At least they should, in my opinion. If you're not being critical of your own work then I think there's something wrong.)

I left feeling as energised and inspired as I do after a Writebulb meeting.

So, what do you fret about?


  1. Stu - I love that we made your blog!

    You're so right. I spent a while worrying that people would think I'm not a good enough photographer but then all my clients loved my photos. So then I worried that I wasn't 'cool' enough, that I didn't measure up, that people wouldn't think I'm worth my prices, that my admin systems are a mess and it takes me too long to get back to people. To make sure I was throughly miserable, I read other photographers blogs and they all seem so together and shooting in exotic locations while I sit editing in my pj's worrying about the kids packed lunches tomorrow!

    There is always something to fret over and worrying is communal! The solution for me was to build my photography business and my life around what I wanted it to be. So it's all about fun, laughter, positivity. It's a 'Jaz-shaped' business so I have no competition and don't have to worry about being better of worse than anyone else (though I still do - go figure!) It's funny but my photography business, like your writing, has become me and vice versa. My personal values and my brand values are identical: Be kind, have fun, connect, engage, share, be generous, love, laugh and live. It's the only way to be - for me anyway!

    Best thing about this weekend - YOU Mr Wakefield! Just you. I'm so glad you're in my life.

    You're Gorgeous!


  2. Very true! I fret that people won't take me seriously as a photographer because I lack confidence sometimes but I see with every new photography job I do that as soon as I take myself seriously, others do too! Thanks for sharing this and I am gutted I didn't make the BBQ glad you all had an amazing time!! Good luck with your writing, really nice blog- Lauren :)

  3. Hey sweets. I am so glad I met you and you are SO right. So often people are ashamed to admit that they lack skill in a certain area and then intimidation sets in when they get around their peers. I felt like I belonged on Sunday and I usually do not settle that easy meeting a group of people I have never met .. but it was different.

    So glad you took the time to chat it up with me and laughing. It was a pleasure .. until we meet again .. cheers.

  4. We all have things we worry about, but it's funny that more often than not, we worry alone, thinking we're the only one!

  5. Stu, great post.. I totally agree. It's nice to have a feeling of community and not rivalry! Lauren, I too am gutted I couldn't haul my ass to the bbq last week but I'm glad others could enjoy it. Jaz, you're lovely and inspirational and I'm looking forward to meeting you at Shutter Rock if not before! I'm working through the whole self + business thing at the moment and it's encouraging to hear your (and others') thoughts! :) Dave

  6. Hello all! It's so great to see you all here, reinforcing what I discovered when I met you. I've heard of a creative community of writers, photographers, sculptors, etc. in Cambridge. Maybe we need to start a commune?!

  7. It sounds like you met some great people at the BBQ and it's reassuring to know that others are also fretting away in the background! I think the time to worry is when you're totally confident in your work so I reckon the key is to be somewhat unsure of what you're doing, be open to new ideas and find a good support structure. When I think how my confidence has progressed since I met people who also love writing and want to be taken seriously I think a commune is a pretty good idea!

  8. I love the idea of a commune! Wouldn't it be great to not have those dark moments of self-doubt and loathing (mmm - a bit strong maybe but I'm in a literary sort of mood today!!) It sounds like you met some lovely, people Stu - and to be honest, I'd never really thought about other genres of creativity having the same worries as writers.

    But then again, I think that some sort of self-doubt can be a positive thing as it enables you to critique your own work in a constructive way. It's when the self-doubt takes over that it becomes destructive.