Creative Foundations

snowy Teton Mountain range in December 2023

Do other creative avenues make us better at our craft?

I wrote a book once. It took me 5 years with stops and starts, and the work was maddening and glorious. For the past 4 years, the chapters have sat stacked in a desk I still use from childhood, and honestly I rarely think about them.

But when I do, I ache for Olivia and Joel and their crazy world, and I long for hours of disciplined writing at my chair (trying not to stare out the window or check my Facebook messages). So was it a waste of time and creative energy? Absolutely not. Do other avenues of creative practice flow into my photography? Yes!

The practice of writing each day, learning from other writers, receiving feedback, being ruthless about what got to stay on the page, and coming to terms with the emotions of creating all led me to the photographer I am today. I feel those skills when I’m out in the field, bristling under the surface.

Becoming a better writer made me a better photographer, and that makes those 5 years so worth it. 

Have you found this in your creative life? What foundations have made you a better painter, writer, photographer, sculptor, dancer, teacher, etc?

Jen Ritchie

I'm a nature photographer who loves capturing beautiful landscapes and wildlife from our yearly trips out West and parks here closer to home.

Leave a Comment