Life, Hanging in the Balance


I don’t have the time to do a book, exclaimed Darnell.

Sure you do, Marc responded in a soothing voice.  You’re out shooting every week anyway.

I couldn’t get enough shots anyway.  There’s not point in even trying!

We all have considerations we need to deal with in our lives, some more important than others.  This past SoFoBoMo was quite a trial for me.  When life doesn’t seem to go the way we planned sometimes we have to just accept it, do the best we can, and move on.

Setting priorities.

The priorities in our lives vary, and if you’re life is at all like mine, it can feel like we don’t have any control.

I work for a TINY company and we all have to pitch in when the going gets tough.  This past summer, that tough time was directly on top of SoFoBoMo.  I try to balance my personal needs with that of my business, but this summer was way out of whack.

I had planned to start my SoFoBoMo book over the 4th of July weekend, with the rest of July to finish.  There would be 5 weekends, plenty of time to get in 35 good images.

So on Sunday, the 3rd of July, I went out and shot a bunch of images.  Mostly nature images, but there were a few architectural detail shots as well.  I like a wide range of subject matter and I wanted my book to reflect that.

Miss one weekend?  How bad could that be?

My company’s summer party was the following weekend and that would consume most of my weekend.  Since I would still have 3 more weekends, I felt I had everything in hand.  Plus I had a week of vacation planned at my Dad’s house in North Carolina.  Plenty of time to capture more images and think about the book.

After that weekend, my company received a Thursday evening request for proposal (RFP).  The request stated they needed “a response by Monday morning at 8:00am.”  So a second weekend was completely shot, at the same time canceling my vacation.

Now that little voice in my head keeps repeating “you’ll never get done, you have to take some time off” over and over.

And the work keeps coming.

During the third week of July, we got another RFP.  This one with a more reasonable deadline, but with summer vacations, I was on my own.  I worked that entire next weekend too.

And now that little voice is screaming “there is no way you’ll EVER finish!!!”

I’d shot images for exactly 1 day in 28.  I had one weekend and a Monday after work to finish the book.

I took one weekend day to shoot some more images.  Then I spent the second weekend day processing my selections.  After work on Monday, I sorted my processed images and used Lightroom to create a PDF book.

I posted my book with only hours left in my 31 days.

So like Darnell, I could have given up.  I certainly had reason enough to quit.  And who would be the wiser if I didn’t finish?

But doing that work.  Finishing that book gave me a great sense of accomplishment.  It was just what I needed during a period when my personal life was… hanging in the balance.

And we won the work from both proposals, so business life wasn’t actually hurt in the process.


that little voice in my head is being quiet.  Just as it should.

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