It's not been the most productive year, creatively. Certainly not when it comes to writing, where it feels like this has been a really, really off year. But let's jump right into it and see what I've been up to in 2016.
Yes, I am still writing. But 2016 was not a year of writing for me. My finished works are 2 mini stories, 1 short story, and 7 poems. And most of that was in the beginning of the year.
I also started a poem project that I hope to turn into a small chapbook. I've worked on some ideas for an outline and sketched on a few story suggestions and poems for it, but it's still in its early stages. I'm not quite sure of the format of the texts in it. Two reasons I had for starting this project was that 1) I'd really like to read something like that myself, and 2) my plan is for it to be a quite small project so that it's much more reasonable that I'll actually finish it.
Although writing has been slow, I have read much more than in recent years. I'll attribute that to audio books. I actually seldom read books now; I listen to them, meaning I can go through books while doing house work like cleaning and cooking - which is great!
Definitely most of my creative focus this year has been on photography. Just looking at the beginning of the year and comparing it to now, I've learned and developed so much. Both from reading, and watching videos on photography, looking at and reviewing photos, and getting out there with various equipment and getting different types of shots.
For the first time ever I've taken photos with film SLR's and learned about working with film cameras. It really is a very different way of taking photos compared to digital photography, almost like comparing oil painting with aquarelle. You need a certain set of basic skills for both, but they are still different mediums with their own techniques.
Working with film cameras also forces you to think differently. You can't spray shots all over the place. Instead you need to take care and plan your shots and be extra precise. Some shots, I would say, can also work amazingly well on film that would not work at all as well digitally. The colors and grain I can get with my Nikon F3 I could never get on my Sony a6000. But that just goes to show you that there is no perfect camera - you just have to find the tool that let's you get the shot you're trying to get.
I did get myself a medium format camera this year, but have actually yet to use it more than to check that it appears to be functioning.
Understanding and working with flash photography was something I've been wanting to do, and this year I dove right into it. Mainly I've been learning about setting up flashes and using them for portrait style shoots, but I've also tried out flash photography outdoors with wireless triggers. I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to flashes though.
This website has seen a lot of thanges in 2016. I've rebuilt the whole site, and constructed my very own CMS (Content Management System). I can now with relative ease edit the site from anywhere, and reuse the CMS to build other sites.
For my purposes, this CMS works a lot better than any of the larger CMS's out there (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) as it is lightning fast to load, easy to work with, and not cluttered with a bunch of functionality that I don't need or use.
In 2017 I intend to refocus on writing again. I've not set up any goals or plans for what exactaly to write, but the main thing is that I actually sit down and do the work and produce something that's finished. Whether or not it's any good is another question.
But for me to be able to focus more on writing, and to accomplish more with my writing, I need to do less; to live more slowly - to do things with intent, with quality instead of quantity. To do less of the things that accomplish nothing or that I don't really care about, and to be mindful of the things that I actually do. To not pull at every imaginable string, but instead to do less things but to do them fully and completely.
So here's hoping 2017 will be a "slow" year.
Happy new year, everyone!