I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions. I mean most people break theirs within the first month so I don’t really see the point in promising to do something when I know I’m going to fail.
In saying that, however, I guess I am making a kind of New Year’s Resolution in that I want to make this blog better and I want to stop posting random photos to Instagram. I want to take this travel writing seriously and develop it into something more than just the musing of a middle-aged woman (ok so I’m 42 which a lot of people wouldn’t class as ‘middle-aged’ and most of the time I don’t feel that way but there are definitely days that I really do feel like half my life is over!)
This year I would like develop two things: my writing and my photography.
Previously I wrote for me. It was a way of documenting a trip so that I could look back on it later and remember those awesome moments. But now I want to develop that a little more and try to make my writing interesting to others. To do that I need to change my style of writing – no longer is it just about just remembering something but it is about transporting the reader to that place and including the sounds, sights and people. I need to be more descriptive in my writing and actually take time to put pen to paper, so to speak.
If this blog has taught me anything in the short time I’ve been doing it, it’s that I need to take time with my writing. I need to read, re-read and then re-read again a post to make sure that it a) makes sense to someone that’s not me, and b) there are no grammatical errors. I have even had a friend read some of my more, lets say, important posts to make sure they pretty much perfect before I post them.
I don’t necessarily want or need to make money out of writing but for me it’s the recognition that yes I am producing something that people, other than my friends and family, actually want to read.
I’m a lazy photographer. I really am. A lot of my ‘really amazing’ photography was because of sheer dumb luck or being in the right place at the right time. I don’t really frame a shot, I certainly don’t use manual settings. I am more of a ‘point & shoot’ kind of gal. But what I want to do is enhance my skills so that the photos I take bring a visual aspect to my writing.
If I’m honest (and a little modest!), I know I have a good eye for photograph and I know that I see things where others might not see things. One of my things to say is remember to look up because you never know what you might see. But while I have that skill, I really don’t have the patience to get the light and exposure right before taking a shot. Plus there is the factor too that after you’ve taken all that time to get the settings right, the moment has passed. I guess I need to learn the difference of when I can take that ‘happy snap’ and when I can take a little extra time to get that perfect shot.
Because of this I have changed how I use Instagram for 2015. Gone are the random shots of food, books, everyday life (which aren’t bad things) and in are 12 months of a different theme every month. January is street art month, inspired by my recent trip to Melbourne and discovering the alleyways of street art there. Every month is going to feature old and new photos of my travels and hopefully it will mean more of an audience. Another thing I am also doing is no longer posting to my individual Facebook feed but to my Facebook travel site – Seznz – A Kiwi on the Loose in order to get more of a following on that page.
What I want for 2015
I hope that I can get better at both these things and enjoy the process along the way. Writing a blog, whilst rewarding, is a lot of hard work and you really have to put time and effort into making your blog a place that people want to visit and therefore follow you. I am still very new to this whole concept and I am learning all the time – which I think is an important thing.
I want to really think about what I am writing and really think about why I am taking the photo I’m taking. By the end of this year I want to be able to look back and know that I did all that I could to make myself better at these two things. We all have to start somewhere right?