This may seem one more strange post. However, as I have sometimes said, for me photography is a metaphor, for life.
Sometimes, the difficulty, lies in pacing yourself out. Many of us do things apart from photography. Now, I am using photography as an example. It could be writing, or music, or consulting or kissing your boss’s bum.
Now, the 10,000 hour rule seems to be an easy rule. After all, how many hours is 10,000 hours?
When you make this 2 hours per day, you need 5,000 days, or 13,7 years. Suddenly, the picture looks quite different. You need to spend many years, diligently, to become an expert at something.
The assumptions here are a few. One, that you have a basic aptitude for the direction that you are pursuing. Two, that you don’t waste too much time correcting course. For instance, if I had spent 5,000 hours practising food photography, only to realise that my future lies in landscape work, then I may need to spend another 8,000 to 9,000 hours working on this. Wow.
When you tot up the numbers, you realise that this is a lot of work, and that you need considerable staying power to achieve this. Passion, as well
As you keep practising your craft, you may find that you go through periods of being mentally stale.
Also, you may find that your body starts to age. Yes, it does happen, despite the strange things people consume, in order to stay young.
You may also find that technologies change, and you have to learn many things afresh. For instance, I started in black and white film. The world then turned digital. Now, I am studying some vintage processes. Many principles remain the same – the study of composition, or light. Many techniques change.
All of a sudden, you realise that putting pen to paper, or clicking a camera’s shutter is more involved than you originally envisaged, and that you need to continue motivating yourself.
Mindfulness helps, as does stillness.
Pacing yourself through the years is critical. think of this as a marathon, and not a sprint. Don’t be like the marathoner who, a quarter of the way down the road, starts to wail about how long the journey is.
It is a journey you must embark on with all eyes, ears, open and, with commitment.
Yes, even spending 10,000 hours perfecting the art of kissing your boss’s bum requires commitment and practice. I have known many who excelled at the art!
Dawn. Prayer in Benares