My Other Camera Is A Pen

Growing up I remember popular stickers on the rear of cars – especially ordinary run down ones – exclaiming “My other car’s a Porsche!”

Well, my other camera is, no, not a Leica or a Hasselblad, but a pen.

Before I starting exploring photography with any serious intention around 2005 with my Sony camera phone, my creative outlet of choice was writing.

Of course it still is, with 35hunter.

But blogging is different, and pretty much like having a chat with a friend.

Back then, my main writing was poetry, as a way to try to untangle the world, remind myself of its beauty, and connect with others.

The latter would often get me into trouble if the recipient was a girl I probably shouldn’t even by writing about, let alone then sharing the words with too.

Anyway, I was reminded of all of this the other day, when looking through my Google account and seeing what I had saved (I’m nearing my storage limit).

Amongst Photos, Drive, Gmail, Docs, Sheets and more, I still have a Blogger account.

And on it a blog I started – and indeed finished – as a single creative project around 2008.

Partly it was conceived as as a challenge for a creative community I was involved with at the time, and partly to document via poetry how I felt about (salsa) dancing (which I was heavily immersed in then), channelled through the viewpoints of two (semi)fictional characters called Caspian and Esra.

Now, without wanting to sound immodest, I was quite impressed with what I’d written, and how it took me back to those dancefloors.

But now, like a whole body of other poetry, including hundreds of haiku, an unfinished novel and an even more unfinished film script, I don’t really know what to do with it.

Was the purpose of writing these at the time enough?

Certainly that was the main intention, and not international publication.

But isn’t it a shame to keep our work from the world, when it might touch, inspire and delight others?

What other creative outlets do you have, aside from photography? What do you do with them, in terms of sharing and publishing?

As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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8 thoughts on “My Other Camera Is A Pen”

  1. Silly me, I was thinking in a pen with spy camera /n\ I had a blog in blogger too, I closed it when I was not sure if it would be private or if it would link my content to all my contacts in google. Not that I speak bad or wrong about them when I mention a memory, just that all are in different aspects of my life so it would restrain my thoughts. I am glad and sorry that happened in WordPress, glad because I knew wonderful persons, and sorry because some had to close their blogs, and I had to avoid certain thoughts too as the reader would feel compelled to participate in what sometimes is just an expression (“all is fine?” “do you need help?”)

    Maybe you could ask help of an editor. I suspect it could save much time that otherwise would go to trial and error, and seeing your content here I am sure it would be nice if it were out in the world.

    1. Thanks Francis, no I’ve never had a spy camera! I think my Blogger blog is public, just I never promoted it, had comments etc, and it was only being published to for a few weeks so it’s all but lost to the big wide internet.

      I’ve thought numerous times in the past about an editor, for a couple of larger projects. I find it fairly easy to write and get in the flow, but trying to organise and arrange large pieces of writing, especially when I didn’t write them in sequential order, almost impossible.

      I just can’t hold all the pieces in place in my head, like I have a 1000 piece puzzle, and I’m trying to do it on a tray that only holds 10 pieces.

      I don’t know how novelists get their heads round so many words at once, when as a reader it takes hours and hours to read a novel, and that’s just reading through, without any intention of editing or proof reading.

  2. I thought you were talking about Olympus Pen, lol!
    But yes, I agree, a pen (the regular one, the one we can use for writing) can be a great creative outlet as well. There are feelings that we can only express by writing, there are others that only photography can communicate precisely.

    1. I did have an Olympus Pen a few years back, but no I meant an actual pen, symbolic of writing rather than making photographs. And yes I agree sometimes pictures work best, sometimes words.

  3. if you ever feel like sharing the journals you did in your blogger space, I would love to see them. Barring that I hope you’ll save them for yourself, maybe print them and keep them tucked away so your children can read them someday and maybe they can see things in you that you never realized in yourself. Poetry, dancing, screenwriting. you’re amazing. I can barely write a complete sentence without going over it five times.

    1. Thanks Jason, I’m blushing. I do think that about children, how much of ourselves should we show them, how much of our past and so on. I remember years ago trying to show my dad some poetry I’d written and he seems utterly baffled, it was awkward almost as he clearly couldn’t fathom it. But I do recall he said soon after that he used to make up songs when he was driving long distances especially. I see that now as one of few ways he tried to reach out and connect with me.

  4. Dan, before I got my engineering degrees (decades ago) and before I started a family, electronics and fish tanks were my other creative outlets. I would spend hours building circuits or new aquariums for friends and family. That’s all gone now.

    Photography is my sole creative outlet. I used to write and share a lot more on my blog but, and I’m sure you are tired of reading about this, since 2018, health challenges have reduced my outings and hence subject matter for writing. The pandemic has not helped.

    1. I often wonder about hobbies, whether I have enough, whether I enjoy them enough. I’ve never had a wide range of different hobbies, and tend to have one main one that I devote a great deal of time to, then others that have always been there, like music, reading, writing.

      It scares me a little than we can have a hobby we’re super interested in, then a few years down the line it’s disappeared.

      Photography so far has been pretty robust and enduring!

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