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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sabbatical Comes To An End

One of my favorite thinking spots
Funny how several months ago I thought a simple two week hiatus would fix all my ills and I'd be back at it renewed and refreshed in  no time. Suffice it to say, it really didn't work that way. Life happens. Health concerns happen. Career angst happens.

I found my self increasingly unsatisfied for some reason. I was no longer truly happy doing what I do - whatever the heck it is that I do!

I wanted to be an "outdoor communicator"  but made the very grave error of comparing my work, my style, my whole being as an outdoor photographer and writer, to those who had mentored  me, to those who I admired.

I whined on a nearly daily basis to my blogging mentor and outstanding blogger The Hunter's Wife. The Hunter's wife has been doing this a day or two, has a great following and is well respected in the blogosphere. It's just gravy for me that she is my pal and one heck of good friend.

I'm quite certain that the ring tone and text alert on her phone for me probably shrieks "Danger! Whiny Nutjob again!"

The Hunter's Wife wasn't the only one I drove nearly off the edge. I find Stacey Huston's ability to "Focus in the Wild" awe inspiring. Her images and words never fail to take me to a better place, to inspire me, to make me strive for better images of my own.

I am highly suspicious that Stacey's ring probably is very similar to The Hunter's Wife's.

I badgered and beleaguered my editor Jeff at Heartland Outdoors.

At last - I have found my path!

However because these folks are not just outdoor communicators that I admire and trust, they are also my friends, they tolerated all the madness, they listened, they advised, (sometimes with brutal honesty), and they helped me right my ship so to speak.

These fine folks helped me to understand that I must stop comparing myself, and do what fits and feels right for ME. They helped me to understand that I am enough - what ever path I choose.

So I've determined that what I love the most is just wandering aimlessly in the outdoors and bringing my outdoor experiences to all 6 or 8 of you that follow the Wild Woman over hill and dale. And for me - that is enough.  I will be more productive and prolific than some, I will be less than some, but I will BE ENOUGH!

I have to go wander now...after little to no rain for months -finally we have had rain, I'm sure there's mushroom's popping out there somewhere that are just waiting on me to find them!


  1. I'm proud to be one of your followers as well as your friend :-)

  2. You are enough and even more. We love you and appreciate everything you do. And thanks for this post. Today I needed a reminder that I am enough also. And this really helped. The sisterhood works in mysterious ways.

  3. Heard a guy on the radio today that wrote a book called One Big Thing. One of the things he mentioned is that you can't compare yourself to others or try to copy what they do. They've already done it, you have to find your own voice.

    I'm still on a bit of a hiatus, may last a long time yet. Like you, I've come to realize I have the same kind of aimless wandering drive. Only, since I have no clue how to make a living off it, I've stopped trying to do that part. I just continue to wander.

    I've also eliminated a good 90 percent of what I used to read. You not being one of them. Had to get rid of the noise in my head and see what was in there that was mine.

    You'll be just find Ms. Gretchen. So you don't write things down as much. You haven't lost your eye. Every picture tells a story, don't it? Sometimes that's enough.

  4. Right back at you my friend - your advice has been invaluable!

  5. Embrace your inner wanderer Ken ! That's probably why we enjoy each others work so much. Always enjoy your thoughtful comments and thanks for not culling me to bring down the noise :)

  6. Hey Gretchen. I am glad to hear you're keeping your blog. Hang in there. Call me and come on over some weekend.

  7. Hey Gretchen, I just found this blog through SILO.  I like it.  As a semi-pro photog, I used to think it was necessary for me to blog constantly.  I did for a while, but like the vast majority of aspiring bloggers, I eventually let it go by the wayside.  I am no authority on blogging, so I cannot offer any advice in particular on the subject.  However, I do want to say that as an off and on visitor to SILO for years now, I have ALWAYS found your images to be top notch.  To me, a truly good image does two things to the viewer.  First, it makes you stop for just that split second extra to let your eyes linger.  Second, and most importantly, it invokes  real emotion and feeling in the viewer, whatever that emotion may be.  From what I have seen of your work, your images always accomplish those two things with me.  Good luck in your blogging and keep up the great work!

    Joe Gray