I’m new to the #yearinthelifeofawriter project? What is it?
Each day, I post one photo and a brief caption to Instagram here, mostly related to what it's like to be a writer or to interesting things I've seen that day and want to share. So far the story has featured pizza, immigration offices, insomnia, going back to night school to learn Italian, and about 276 shots of my desk (see below)…
I like many things about social media, but I feel that sometimes there is a certain pressure to share only those aspects of our lives which seem out of the ordinary. And over time, this distorts our picture of what it’s actually like to do certain long-term things like be a mother or a father or a carer or a friend, or study or overcome personal difficulties or write a book. I love the way photographers have embraced the everyday via concepts like Project 365, and I think that as writers we could also do more to share the ordinary and beautiful things we find in our day-to-day life.
What equipment are you using?
A second-hand digital camera (an Olympus SP-800UZ, in case you were wondering!), a Fairphone 2 and my old but trustworthy Nokia Lumia. I felt strongly that I didn't want to go out and buy a lot of fancy equipment for a project that was meant to be about things like honesty and everyday experience - but having said that, I will do my best not to subject you to awful photos.
Will the project feature photos of you?
I want to show you what being a writer looks like from my point of view, as well as the interesting things I see over the year. So I’ll mostly remain out of the frame. But I might occasionally enlist the help of other people when I’m taking the photos, particularly at book events where there sometimes isn’t time for the writer to take a picture!
Can I join in?
Of course! Several people have asked me this (and one writer, @hotpotato786 on Instagram, has already shared some brilliant photos). I am honoured that other writers and readers would like to take part. If you want to do a full ‘year in the life’ project, feel free to launch a separate project in your own personal style, with a separate hashtag, just crediting #yearinthelifeofawriter as inspiration. But most people who have contacted me would actually like a way to share occasional photos of their writing life, without having to take a photo a day. And I think it would be wonderful to have a community of different writers – full-time, part-time, aspiring and those who write for fun – sharing honest writing pictures in a variety of personal styles over the coming year. So, if you want to join in, use the hashtag #yearinthelifeofawriter too when uploading your photos, so that we can find and follow each other's writing stories.
You can follow the project here. And if you don’t have Instagram, I've created a simple photo blog where all the pictures and captions can be found on Tumblr here.
I hope you enjoy the project. And let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see included over the coming weeks and months...