The end has come, of sorts, to the year already. By the time this afternoon draws to a close, I will have sent off the last of my pages for our final magazine edition for the year, and the bulk of the work will be behind me. Sure, there will still be proofing and other fiddly bits to follow up on tomorrow and Friday, but the majority of the hard slog is done. I can coast from here on in.
It’s peculiar to be faced with a month with little-to-no responsibility. December doesn’t see us produce a mag, as we don’t run a January edition – too many of our contributors and readers are away on holidays; churches shut down over parts or all of the break, and my editor and I both need to have holidays at some point. There will be work to do throughout December (planning for the coming year’s edition, sorting advertising rates and locking in our major advertisers, etc), but there’s no hassle of sourcing articles, booking in shoots with contributors, laying out columns, articles and pages, and no ads to design and fit into pages. It’s a somewhat freeing thought.
I’ve got plans of how I want next year to run. I’ve already started to map out a possible new timeline of how each edition could run, how our workflow could be improved, and how I can actually start to tie in photos with the articles and their content. It’s exciting to stare down a month’s worth of time and space to try and make these thoughts and plans a reality.
My personal work is oddly mirroring my Monday-to-Friday work as this year draws to a close. December is currently empty (much to my relief) with nothing but a possible client meeting or two. And I’m very excited of the time that it will allow me. Time to start pursuing some of the things I’ve had planned for a while.
My creative direct has been lacking of late – that much has become obvious to me over the past month or so. Tying into my previous post about writing, my creative direction has all of a sudden decided to re-emerge, and rear is (sometimes) ugly head. Once more I’m starting to actually see images I want to make. I’m starting to plan shoots in my head. I’m beginning to no longer struggle for ideas, no longer staring at my bag sitting next to my desk and wondering why it gets no use outside of work or client hours. My hand is itching to hold my camera again, and this is an infinitely good thing.
The problem with the sudden reappearance of creativity led to a clash between the want, the need, and the ability to both find the time and space to make any of those images a reality. I had these ideas I wanted to shoot, but was either in one of the two deadline weeks I live in each month, or flat out working for other clients. Holidays were in there as well, which did limit some ideas – but that time lying by the water at the beach and pool were both instrumental in gaining some clarity of what to do with my rediscovered muse. December affords me the time and space outside of work, as well as the lack of stress from major publication and distribution deadlines hanging over my head like Damocles’ upward glance revealed. All going to plan, the coming month (and especially having the lovely Christmas present from work of 10 days off) will be a chance to realise some of the plans that have been flying around my head at a million klicks.
I’m not going to say anything relating to what those plans are, just yet. I want to sit down and nut through a lot more of this with Beth first, and get a plan of action so that this month doesn’t waste away like so many have before. But I’m looking forward to December with baited breath.