Hey. Well it’s been awhile since y’all got much more than book news and stuff. I’ve been hidding in my cave working on deadlines. I’m not exactly emerging so much as I’m sending out a smoke signal. So grab a cup of tea ’cause as smoke signals go, this one’s random and long.
First, thanks for all the encouragement and congrats on finishing Vision & Voice. Man does that feel good to be done. Makes me glad I’m heading to Italy for a month this weekend, as it’ll give me time to breathe before I come home and start on the next book. The deal for the next book just came through but I’m going to take this one a little slower. Reminds me of the lines at the beginning of Apocalypse Now – “I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one.” 🙂
Next. Italy. I leave Sunday and with travel I’ll be gone almost exactly a month. I’m in Liguria for just over two weeks with Jeffrey Chapman and a bunch of talented folks for the first Italy Within The Frame workshops, then to Venice for a 3-day extension and a week after that by myself to sit an drink coffee, breathe deeply, and run amuck with the Hassleblad and some old film. I will do everything I can to keep you updated with postcards. Y’all are like family, so I’ll be neglecting you the same way I neglect them, I promise. That means no phone calls, cheezy postcards when I can, and no souvenirs.
I am planning to release the next eBook while I am gone. I’m excited about all of them but this one especially as it’s some of the stuff I am most passionate about. It’s a large compilation (and by large I mean about 120 pages, God help your bandwidth) of 50 articles from the blog – like the best of Pixelated Image, but offline and with some nice large photographs. If all goes well the elves over on this end will have it up and on the Craft & Vision store before the end of the month. And by then you’ll all know what the book is called and I’ll announce a winner and a prize as soon as I am able.
Chase Jarvis is making an announcement today at 10:40am PDT (GMT-8) that you’ll want to see. Check his blog HERE for those details.
My buddies GAVIN GOUGH and MATT BRANDON are leading the first Lumen Dei trip that I don’t get to go on. I’m pouting over here as they and the team take in Kumbh Mela in India right now. Check their blogs daily for updates as they’re hoping to post images daily if for no other reason than to taunt me.
The folks at Blackrapid, makers of the R-Strap, are at it again and if it’s been a while since you looked at their wares, I encourage you to do so again – they’ve got some great new stuff out and more on the way. More to come on that because I’ve got some swag to give away. Find the Blackrapid site HERE.
Lastly, if you want to pursue a life in the creative arts or just have more time to do what you love, I want to point you to the book I am currently reading. It’s called The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferris, and despite the title and crappy cover, and the fact that it all sounds like some trendy, cultish, get-rich quick thing, I’m finding myself making pages and pages of notes. There’s some truly excellent stuff in here and while much of it doesn’t apply to what I do, there are transferable concepts. Much of it is about doing more with the time you have and who among us couldn’t use that? But lest you think this is about time management, consider these two take-away bits:
The first is his encouragement to go on a low-information diet. How much time do you spend on Twitter, on Facebook, on countless blogs, plus TV, news, newspapers, magazines? If you stopped watching TV, only read one magazine, and didn’t read the paper, think how much more free your mind and time would be. I haven’t watched TV, nor even owned a TV, for years, and it allows me to get more done. Consider shutting off the noise at the source. You can live without it.
The second is the concept of batching. We love multitasking, we think it makes us efficient. This is the opposite of that, and it’ll make you more effective. Stop doing 5 things at once 20 times a day. Instead focus. Do email twice a day. Sit down, do it, then turn it off. Same with social media, blogging, image processing, whatever. This will free larger blocks of time, free you from that always rushing around feeling, and make the blocks of time you do knuckle down to work much more productive.
Add to this the idea of automating your business, or hiring a virtual assistant in India that can do much of your work for less than you can, and during the hours you sleep, and you’ve just made yourself more effective and freed up chunks of your time to do what you love, like shutting the laptop, grabbing a camera, and making photographs. Now do it all in Costa Rica or Nepal where the cost of living is next to nothing compared to SF, NYC, or Vancouver, and you’ve got more than enough money and time to do what you love. If this all sounds amazing or too good to be true, at least give the book some consideration. Have you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m half-way through and already it’s changing my life.