By the end of December, I had successfully become an independent businessperson. My photography business, found here, proved to be more financially lucrative than I expected (in that I made more than a dollar), and I had managed to network my way into the pockets of friends and strangers with a genuine interest in my photography. More surprisingly, I am on a course to continue successful photography in the future.
This brings me to an uncomfortable realization. I have been doing photography for about five months, but have been submitting short stories and poetry for publication for almost a decade. I have to acknowledge that my photography is currently more successful than my writing. I do not know how to feel about this: I have invested time and energy into writing, only to see my work politely, if not automatically, rejected. In contrast, my little photography business spiraled beyond what I could have hoped it would become, largely as a result of coincidences. My friends needed a photographer to shoot engagement photos, and another friend happened to work in a coffee shop that puts up art by local artists on a monthly basis. I took advantage of these connections without hesitation.
There’s no secret to successful art. Networking helps, but it only goes so far. The quality of writing or photography or music or any other kind of artwork has its limits, too. I submitted a poetry manuscript for publication earlier this week, and expect it to go the way of my other submissions. Meanwhile, I am printing out a fresh batch of business cards for my photography in the hopes that my success in that field will continue. As long as somebody takes interest in my work, whatever it is, I will continue to push forward. Even if nobody takes interest in my work, I will push forward. For me, there’s no alternative direction.