Wednesday, March 2, 2011
green doesn't look so good on me...
That's not to be taken literally, of course. Green actually looks awesome on me. What a great color.
Nope, I'm talking about envy - pure, unadulterated blog envy. Posts by my friend Jessica and also the super-inspiring Melanie over at You Are My Fave have gotten me thinking about this.
It's so easy to fall into that trap: first, read an amazing blog. Maybe their travel is more extensive, their web design better, their commitment to regular posting more solid, or their camera nicer (see, uh, everyone under "inspiration") than yours. The next step after you notice the discrepancy between their site and yours: get bummed out. You think, how can I ever make something this cool?
Plus the fact that, OK, people who are blogging don't typically post the mundane things so much - just the hilarious anecdotes, the exhilarating travels, the mouth-watering photos of things they cooked or picked or whatever - makes it feel like these other people have dreamy, perfect lives. How can yours possibly measure up?
Here's how I'm dealing with it:
1. Giving myself goals. For me this means learning more about food arrangement in photos, researching web design stuff for when I get home, writing as much as I can to keep that muscle active and learning as much as I can about how to use my camera.
2. Recognizing that there are some things I just can't do yet. My food photos are not going to be on the level of, say, Canelle et Vanille until I upgrade in camera/lens quality; comparing myself to people with more experience and resources does no one any good (actually, comparing yourself to anyone does no one any good). And doing what I can with what I have (see #1) so that I am ready when the time comes for an upgrade.
3. Soaking in the sites that make me a little bit jealous, getting over the jealousy and letting myself get inspired! This is huge because, duh, you wouldn't be jealous of something if it didn't have something you wanted. If you can let go of the "why-can't-this-be-me" mindset and focus on appreciating, the parts of that inspiration that are meant to soak in and influence your own style will. Or you'll try it and realize it isn't you. Either way, you're growing.
4. Paying attention to what jumps out at me most: what styles of writing, layouts and aesthetics really make me smile. For example, I love the "this photo could have been taken in Provence" style but don't consider it the most "me"; I'm not at all into the "British 1950s equestrian" aesthetic; I adore the "this thing looks like it was taken from a tiny town in Cuba/Santa Fe, New Mexico/Frida Kahlo's house" aesthetic the most. Being mindful of the kinds of things that speak to you the most can help you shape a site others eventually will (and if they don't, at least you'll love it!).
Maybe my favorite image ever, by Manuel Salgado on Flickr. Who doesn't love those little blue armadillos?