Photography Clips

The Magnetic Pull of the Creative Journey

Ever quit reading a book or abandoned a creative project just because the beginning didn’t captivate you? What if the secret to uncovering a masterpiece lies in the commitment to stick with it? Discover how the “First 50” rule can be a transformative experience for both readers and creators alike.

We've all heard the age-old wisdom: “Don't judge a book by its cover.” Yet, how many of us abandon novels just a few pages in, convinced that they're not for us? The sagacious advice to stick with a book for at least the first 50 pages not only boosts our chances of discovering hidden gems but also nurtures our commitment to finishing what we start. But what if we apply the same philosophy to other forms of creative pursuits, such as a photography project? The results can be nothing short of transformative.

The Power of Fifty

Fifty pages in a book, fifty shots in photography—these milestones can act like magic thresholds that open doors to unseen worlds. When we commit to reaching that 50-page marker, we're effectively saying that we're willing to cross a boundary, to move past the superficial layers to explore the depths of a story. Similarly, shooting fifty photos in a photography project allows us enough exposure (pun intended) to form a meaningful relationship with our subject matter.

The Initial Struggles

The first steps are often fraught with struggle. Novice or seasoned, we're all prone to the artistic equivalent of “writer's block” from time to time. It's as if our creativity is stuck in a maze, unable to find the way out. This is a crucial period. Giving up at this stage is all too easy, but it's precisely at this point that pushing forward can lead to breakthroughs.

Finding the Narrative

In literature, it's the unfolding story that keeps us hooked. In photography, it's the narrative captured frame by frame that propels us forward. Be it the vivid hues of a sunset or the intricate lines on an elderly face, each click of the shutter adds a new chapter to your visual story. Often, it's not until we reach that fiftieth frame that we find the cohesive theme—the core narrative—that ties all the disparate elements together.

The Ripple Effect

What we often overlook is how this level of commitment radiates outwards, affecting other areas of our lives. Sticking with a book or a photography project until a designated point can teach us the value of persistence. This quality, once cultivated, doesn't stay confined to reading or taking pictures; it spills over into our careers, relationships, and personal development, transforming us into more resilient individuals.

Unlocking the Vault of Creativity

Imagine your creativity as a vault, and commitment is the key. Each page turned or photo taken turns the dial, getting you closer to unlocking a treasure trove of inspiration. And once that vault is open, there's no telling what you could create next. You may even surprise yourself by coming up with ideas or approaches that you never considered possible.

Beyond the Fifty

Suppose you've crossed the 50-page or 50-shot milestone, and you're still not feeling that spark of engagement. That's okay. The point of this practice isn't to force a connection where none exists but rather to ensure that you've given your endeavor a fair shake. And even if a particular project doesn't pan out, the skills and insights gained during the process are invaluable, enriching your artistic arsenal for future endeavors.

Life is too short for what-ifs and could-have-beens. Committing to the first 50 pages of a novel or the first 50 shots of a photography project can be your gateway to unexpected pleasures and uncharted territories. It teaches us that the secret to unlocking our fullest creative potential lies in our willingness to persist, explore, and, most importantly, commit. So, the next time you find yourself on the verge of giving up, remember: you're just 50 pages—or 50 shots—away from something truly magical.

Now, go and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation through your lens.

About the author

Will Moneymaker

Will has been creating photographs and exploring his surroundings through his lens since 2000. Follow along as he shares his thoughts and adventures in photography.