the writing life, annie dillard

This writing was interesting. As someone who photographs for other people and writes for themselves, I found a weird connection to what Dillard was saying. I have also been doubting myself a lot lately, especially in the current setting I’ve been living in. She said “there is something you find interesting for a reason” which led me to think about why I want to make the work I make. Why do I find fashion so interesting? Is it the allure and glamour of the industry? or is it the creativity and wild ideas that go into an editorial? I’m not sure, maybe a little of both.


She later says “write as if you are dying” and “write about winter in the summer” which made me realize that there is no better time than the present. I feel like I often put off ideas or let things die out without fully realizing them. I say I don’t have the resources or the ability but in reality, I am scared. There is no reason to be scared anymore though I just have to make it.


I think the thing I most related to is the idea that you have to know your medium and do research into the people who came before you. I have realized over time that having a strong grasp of the techniques and a vast knowledge of previous photographers only strengthens my work. This goes for my personal writing as well. If I ever wanted to write seriously I need to read more and put more effort into what goes behind a good story.


I often struggle with the idea of a long term project. For some reason, I have a hard time grasping what it means to continuously work on one thing. My brain moves quickly; I like to plan, prepare, shoot, edit and be done with projects. I get excited and don’t feel the need to harp on one idea for too long as I easily get bored. But the way Dillard talks about writing a novel over many years to promote growth makes me think that I should genuinely try and slow myself down.

Jessica Caughron       New York, NY        contact@jesscaughron.com

© 2020 By Jessica Caughron 

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