Wednesday, May 04, 2005

[Blog Entry] It Comes Naturally

I was at a photo shoot the other day and idle chatter was never my strongest suit. But I managed to break the ice and one of the questions I couldn’t resist asking was what made her decide to take up photography as a vocation.

“It best expresses myself,” she said. Which I think is a valid answer. Come to think of it, the reason I continue to write (and continue to blog) is because of that.

Perhaps what caught my attention was when she mentioned that during her path of self-discovery, she took up a lot of other art forms such as writing and painting.

“What made you choose photography?” I asked. She answered that it didn’t come naturally when it came to the other forms. Writing, for example, made her struggle.

I think back on my own experiences and well, writing didn’t always come out naturally. In fact, some of us writer struggle to write. It’s actually not as simple as handing us a blank sheet of paper and we start churning out material. It’s actually the opposite. We might sit down for half an hour, looking at a blank sheet of paper (or in my case, a blank screen). Writing isn’t always easy. True, for the most part, blogging comes naturally (at least for me). But for something like book reviews, essays, prose, and especially poetry, it’s a struggle to write every word, every line, even every punctuation mark.

Of course I’m not saying this to debunk what our photographer thought. It’s actually the opposite. I believe that photography was one of the paths most valid for her. For me though, it’s writing. But it’s not for the same reason she took up photography. I think more than anything, it has to do with passion, with interest. Our photographer found passion in photography. Perhaps for me, it was writing, even if it didn’t always come out naturally, even if it wasn’t always easy. I think the moment it starts becoming easy, we fall prey to stagnation. Thankfully, the talented writers I know are always struggling with their work (which is a good sign, despite the frustration it might cause some of us). I’m not saying it doesn’t come out naturally for them, but there will obviously be instances when the road is far from easy.

So what if it doesn’t come out naturally? In any vocation, there will be two types of people who will excel in what they do: the geniuses, those with innate talent, and those with passion (not that both are mutually exclusive to each other). There’s nothing wrong with being the latter. In fact, they’re perhaps the ones most respected, because of the bigger hurdle they managed to overcome.

Food for Thought: Neil Gaiman’s Death (from Sandman) or Terry Pratchett’s Death (from Discworld)?


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