My Community

About a year ago, I decided to downsize my social engagement, included—among other platforms—my blog writing. This blog. Back then, I was running a bit on empty, and needed a break from what more and more had become an obligation—instead of the joy it once was when I started out with my blog for more than ten years ago.

The intention was not to withdraw completely, but rather to step down and just spend less time on social media, included this blog. However, I quickly lapse to just barely being able to keep my blog alive. Those of you who have followed my blog—and still have the patience to do so—will undoubtedly have notice the cut back.

I needed the break, and it’s been good for my mental health to lay low for a while. Nevertheless, I’d have to admit I have missed the regular contact with many of you in the blog sphere.

What I am saying, is that I am ready for a “come back”. It will be a slow comeback, and I don’t know what form it will take. It might not necessarily result in more posts, but I certainly will be more engaged again and go into the blog writing with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Part of the reason I wanted to downsize my blogging commitment last summer, was the need to focus more on my professional activity as a photographer and creative artist. I felt my work had gotten stuck in an eddy, not progressing any more. I was not doing what I was passionate about any longer and I needed to infuse my professional life with exactly that again. Passion. That which I am passionate about.

That has always been my cue for any direction I have chosen, professionally or otherwise. Particularly the former (whatever I do for pleasure, is, of course, mostly pleasurable anyway). I believe in finding a way to enjoy and thrive with the work you do. Not only for money, but also for fulfilment of one’s life goals or desires. This last year, in fact longer than that, I have pushed myself out of the eddy I felt I had succumbed to. Now, I feel more inspire than in a long time, and I do more inspiring work again.

As part of my “recovery” or push forward, I have read a lot about creativity, psychology, self-efficacy, and other relevant literature. I always read a lot, but this time my reading has been more focus on these themes. One of the books I found particularly inspirational was Creative Calling by the renowned photographer and entrepreneur Chase Jarvis. He writes about his four steps—IDEA—to create a fulfilling, creative life. It starts with Imagine your big dream, what you want to become in life. Then you Design a practice that supports that dream. The third step is to Execute on your ambitions plan and make you vision real. Finally, you Amplify your impact through a supportive community.

This may sound a little too vague or generic, but Jarvis does a good job in making his thoughts concrete and executable. In fact when reading the book, I realized that for most of my life, his four steps are pretty much describing my own path. Nevertheless, I still learned a lot and was inspired to push myself even further.

What more is, I particularly found that I have not been good enough at practising the fourth step. In my whole life, I have pretty much believe in my own doing. I push myself, I mostly create by myself, and I have mostly developed my business by myself. However, reading Creative Calling, I realized I could have gained a lot by being more open for collaborative interaction.

As Charvis writes: “We’re are all social animals. We thrive on human connections. Creators aren’t exempt from this need. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you get through the tough spots with the support and inspiration of people who ‘get you’. Your community.”

His point is if you are walking the path towards your dreams, but getting nowhere, go find communities of other human beings who are passionate about the same things you are and get involved. Roll up your sleeves. Participate. Collaborate. And don’t hold back.

This leads me back to my blog. I need to get back to my community. You. Among others, of course. When I look back at my blogging, it has precisely been a place I could discuss and exchange ideas with people of my kind, creative human beings. So, it’s about time to reconnect and enjoy the human connection again.

46 thoughts on “My Community

  1. Happy to see you back here. I understand your feelings completely – hard to “give” when you feel empty… Fill your cup and I’ll look forward to your next blog. XO

  2. I get it…. change is an ever happening process impacted, influenced inspired… to be aware of and conscious while in the river called life …🤗

  3. I came across Jarvis years ago, and found one of his previous paradigms both simple and encouraging. I’d not read anything by him recently; I’m glad that his latest suggestions have struck a chord with you.

  4. Welcome back, Otto. Good, you allowed yourself to have that break. I always love reading from you because you write with an intention and have something to say. Therefore the reservoir inside has to get refilled. Glad, you fill filled enough to overflow again. Thanks for having you back.

  5. I am happy you are coming back to blogging Otto, I always enjoy your writing and sharing of your creative ideas.
    The blogging community is very supportive, hence why I have not given up yet…although I don’t post very often.
    This year has been hard for me, since I lost my father and then my best friend had also recently passed away.
    Travelling makes me happy, life is short I want to do more of the things I love.
    Social media can be hard to keep up with sometimes. I don’t blame you for wanting a break. But happy that you are back.

  6. Your perspectives are always interesting and your voice is missed when you can’t contribute, but all of your reasons make a lot of sense. I’ll always be glad to see your posts, but will also understand the times you need a little withdrawal. 🙂

  7. Nice to see you back here Otto. Yes, interesting and wise words. A supportive comunity is or sure a great help in having and developing ideas. Unfortunately it is an area where I have some problems, covid made “less enjoyable” to meet people, feeling oft afraid to get the virus from somebody, in spite in my case of four vaccine doses.
    Therefore it is an area where I shopuld work and improve anyway. Thanks for this post which reminded me this.
    I’ll look for the Charvis book! GRazie and have a good creative time!

    1. Good to be in touch again, Robert. Yes, covid-19 did something with our social life, didn’t it. Hopefully, what we see, is a slow return back to normal again. Keep at it again, my friend.

  8. I’ve been slowing down a lot too–got myself involved in too many projects. So it’s safe to say that I didn’t notice your absence because I was hidden behind my own!

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