For travelers and creatives alike, the comparison game can be a real ambition killer.
With my newly acquired in-my-thirties attitude and simplify as my one little word for 2015, I'm taking a step back and coming at this game from a new, more productive, angle.
Instead of comparing my creative projects to others, I'm focusing down on the important question behind it all.
What's the work I want to be doing?
This question allows me to take a different approach to the whole comparison game. Instead of comparing my work to others, I'm instead looking for examples of great work and creators which I can strive to join. This approach also allows me to cut down on the noise and bypass comparing myself with successful creators whose work I have no interest in doing myself.
So I've started a list on my Notes app in my phone, broken down by creative medium, and here's who I'm striving to join right now.
Videography & Filmmaking
While my interested in videography and filmmaking goes back to "throwing my college career away" in high school to take film instead of english class, there was one video in particular which pushed me over the edge to get into travel videography and filmmaking; a story for tomorrow by Gnary Bay.
My equally creative husband found the Expedition Overland series and I was hooked. This is the kind of work I want to be doing, because it's the kind I enjoy watching. Give me an episode of this over any major TV show, any day.
And then this month, we both found Welcome to Union Glacier from StudioCanoe and started planning out how to purchase a few more key pieces of equipment.
What websites do I find myself eagerly returning to for almost every new post? On the frequent content side, I totally dig Adventure Journal's varied combination of outdoor content - from the video of the day to essays on current issues facing the outdoors.
I'm not much of an e-mail subscriber, but I make one exception for the awesome family behind Our Open Road. They don't post to their website often and when they do it's a whopper of a post filled with amazing photography and down to earth stories. Whenever I get a new post from them in my e-mail, my day has been made.
In a world full of over saturated and staged photography, I very much admire Lisette Wolter-McKinney's travel photography. It's simple, crisp, and it comes across incredibly real.
On the more in your face side, I really dig Chris Burkard's work. Every photo gives an epic vibe of adventure and I particularly enjoy his style of incorporating individuals into his landscape work.
To put it bluntly, I'm having a tough time finding travel writers out there whose work I really enjoy reading. I'm not so big on travel narratives or top 10 lists, but I do enjoy the short front of book pieces, One Great Block and Roads Less Traveled, in AFAR - as well as their Spin The Globe feature.
In terms of style, I absolutely love reading everything Jennifer Snyder posts on the Journal - her voice comes through smoothly and friendly in written words both on her own site and elsewhere.
I'm about a year and half into wrapping the idea of being a small business owner around my head, but I find myself fascinated by the work of Ethnotek, preserving culture while helping people travel well; Moorea Seal, showcasing small designers and giving back; and Our Open Road's 24 Bazaar.`
Do you have any creators are you striving to join? I'd love to see what work is motivating you!