In the Winner’s Words

by Miserere

  

A few weeks ago Reed nominated his mum to receive a free copy of Hugh MacLeod’s Ignore Everybody…and she won! I sent the book her way and asked her to tell me her impressions when she was done. In her own words:

I read the book through the night I got it, but then I wanted to wait a few days before writing anything down to let it percolate a bit.

One of the chapters that spoke to me first was the “sex and cash” chapter. I have an uncle who is a drummer. He makes most of his money teaching lessons and playing in a local country band, but he’s also a member of a jazz band. Those gigs make very little money, but he just enjoys them so much. Sometimes I can lose myself that way with my camera, but not usually on anything I planned. I am just a hobbyist, but even the small pressure I put on myself for a particular location keeps me in the present and not in the “zone,” if you will.

The chapter about turning one’s hobby into a job reinforced a thought I have had for a while: that I am not interested in making this a profession (at least right now). People coo and cluck (relatives with low-end P&S cameras, I mean) at some of my pictures, but when I think about the business end of things I lose interest quite rapidly.

I wholeheartedly agree with the “commercial” vs “artistic” argument. Sometimes I am very happy with a photo, and when I post it on Flickr it gets ignored. Other pictures that don’t mean much to me might get hundreds of views. I can’t figure it out, but now I know that I like what I like. Even if I’m disappointed if other people don’t “get it,” I still like that picture.

When I got my DSLR it was exactly like rediscovering my box of crayons, and my youngest kids (who are twins) were just old enough for me to catch a minute to myself now and then. Finally, a creative outlet I wasn’t terrible at (I cannot draw, sing, write or dance). I find it soothing and enriching, absorbing, frustrating—all things that make me feel alive.

I thought the author’s observations were astute, and I appreciate his brisk approach. I belong to several forums that are primarily populated by women, and women tend to be much more circuitous in their approach to things. Sometimes a little bluntness is refreshing. And the cartoons were funny. 😀

Thank you again,

  –Lara Arnold

  

Lara Arnold - Reed

Reed – Lara Arnold

I know the book is in good hands, just check out the photo Lara took of her son, Reed. I wish Lara the best for the future, and hope for Reed’s sake that the time she spent reading this book was time she didn’t use to pester him with her camera. What more could a son wish for!? 😀

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