Photography’s powerful impact on writing

Writing is my primary passion, my soul gift. A pen in my hand just feels right. My first reaction when I see something beautiful or horrible or downright amazing is to write about it—whether that’s a poem or a tweet or a text message to a friend, and I sometimes even incorporate it later into a story. For me, because writing is an extension of myself and the best way I express my innermost everything, I’m constantly itching to get better, deeper, faster, tighter and stronger at my craft. Sometimes that’s done through reading or travel—both open my mind and transform my spirit.

But other times, it’s best to throw out that pen or set aside that laptop and pick up an entirely different mode of creative expression entirely. I’m talking the camera, whether that’s my iPhone or my Nikon SLR. I’ve discovered that when I switch things up and train my brain to capture something on-camera rather than through words, it helps me grow and improve as a writer in indescribable ways.

Try it and see. Keep a camera with you for one week. Anytime the feeling hits you to express with words, bite your tongue or still your writing hand. Instead, pick up your camera.

Pretty sunset while driving? Pull the car over and snap a few shots. Touched by a quiet moment exploring a garden with a child? Photograph a compelling image, like the child’s juice-sticky hand reaching for that blade of grass.

After you’re comfortable with this, take it up a notch: start by sharing your images socially, whether through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter,  Pinterest or any similar forum. Train your brain to embrace imagery and light instead of funky new phrasing.

It’s fun, it’s portable and it can help you grow in new and exciting ways.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Indeed. Or maybe a picture can make those 1,000 words far more interesting and compelling than ever before.

Stretch and grow. It’s part of life, and it’s part of writing.