First things first: my photo essay has been published over at Glimpse. Find it here.
I enjoyed the process of writing for Glimpse. I have spent years of my life writing academic papers (usually hurriedly, with little sleep and not a little beer) to be submitted for a grade and never thought of again. I used to joke that once I hit the prescribed word count, I would stop mid-sentence, press print and elatedly (if not belatedly) turn it in. This was no exaggeration. Most of my papers in graduate school really did go straight from screen to submission, without even a hint of revision.
“Creative Writing” (for that’s what they call it, it turns out) was never required, nor was it attempted in my normal life, for the most part. I began to write “creatively” as a means of expression, to give critical thought and voice to my experience as I traveled and encountered new things. I never really thought about the difference between this and how I had written in school, except that this was more fun and more fulfilling.
Nothing I had done in school had prepared me for the experience of submitting a piece of my creative writing for the editorial process. I had become used to the red ink on a critical essay for class; I had not anticipated the emotions I would feel when I received my creative writing, basically my journal, with pages of feedback and critique. My travel journal was a place of freedom. I hid my embarrassment, fuming about my editor at Glimpse: “These are my thoughts. If you don’t like them, too bad.”
Whereas I really wasn’t that concerned with how well I expressed my analysis of theological typologies, my creative writing was much closer to my heart.
After the initial shock, I began to appreciate the feedback from my editor. After several months of the editorial process, I emerged a better writer.
I initially applied to Glimpse as a photographer. It turns out that words definitely form the core of the program. While I do enjoy that form of expression, photography is my passion. I was allowed one photo essay of the four pieces that will eventually be published. Where writing was sometimes a struggle, the photo essay was pure joy.
My photo essay is now live on Glimpse. In pictures, it tells the story of a mass public protest action in Riemvasmaak. I wrote this about the experience at the time.
You can find the photo essay at Glimpse here.
Special thanks to Erica for feedback on the original round of photos. Thanks to everybody for your support!