A Year of Questions

This post was written at the beginning of January but only just now finally posted.

Ever since I started trying to earn at least some income from my photography I have been looking forward to each New Year. I always thought to myself, “What will I do to make this year better than any other?” Sometimes I traveled abroad; sometimes I just went out at lot in a more local corner of the world. Sometimes I decided to send out many submissions, or hold an exhibition, self-publish a book, promote a slide presentation of mine and take it “on tour” to local camera clubs and other groups. Not every year was great, but I always had the next year to hope for better results.

This year – 2011 – will be the first year ever when I don’t know what I will be able to achieve. Will I visit the Japan Alps this year? Maybe by the autumn I might get a hike in. Or maybe not. Will I do any hiking this year? I hope to get out at least three or four times. Will I have time to complete and submit all the ideas I have? I never do. I want to start a home page (or blog if not an HP) where I can present my work in Japanese. I want to type up all my old interviews and news stories and post them with my own written pieces. I want Japanese people who search for my name in Katakana to be able to find information about me and how to order my books and so on. I have several submissions to prepare for magazines in Japan. I have interviews to translate. I have slides to finish preparing for my stock agency. I should see what I can do about selling any more prints and books at café galleries like I used to do. There is really so much work to do. I have this idea of going to local parks and shooting nature close-ups because that will be cheaper than doing any car trips to other prefectures. I also have an idea to visit places in the surrounding prefectures and shoot them in 4×5 for a special collection. I want to finish my next book on blurb.com and work on promoting my blurb books as well as begin on the next two after that. I have so many ideas. Usually time or money (lack of) keeps me back. This year it will be both.

In two or three weeks (actually this Friday, the 28th!), my wife will under go a Caesarian Section for the delivery of our second child. Things are much more difficult this time because my son is now two and a half and needs constant supervision; otherwise he climbs on dangerous things or gets into stuff he shouldn’t touch. He really just likes to play. At home he’s manageable, but my wife and son will go (have already gone) to her parents’ place to stay for a few weeks and that place is not set up for a rambunctious boy. Following their return with the new family member, I expect I will be kept busy almost all hours I am at home for the first few months. In addition to the expanding family, my work schedule has become very difficult to cope with since October. There is so little time to work on any photography or writing. And I have work through a second job that sometimes keeps me tied down. It would seem that at least extra money is coming in but all that is going towards helping this family recover from some unexpected but necessary spending in 2010. We will need a half year just to get back in shape.

So, with a shortage of available funds restraining my ability to photograph freely and a shortage of free time keeping my time for photography-related work and writing to a bare minimum, I really can’t say how much I can look forward to doing this year. In a way, I’d like to just take the whole year off and not beat my head about all the things that I should be doing. But I can’t just drop everything for a year or three. I’ll keep at it. Little by little, I will continue to work on getting stuff published. I kind of have to. I really need the money!

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