New Beginnings: A Happy New Year

I know it is nearly the end of January already, but I wanted to wish you all a very happy new year. I hope it has been kind to you thus far. My internet break became rather longer than I initially intended. Two weeks, most of them spent with a horrendous cold, was not enough. I was still feeling overwhelmed and unfocused, so it seemed right to extend it until the end of January.

January seems like a rather appropriate time to devote to dreaming and planning anyway. It is tempting to try and reset from the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. However I don’t know about you, but the Yuletide festivities usually extend at least a few days into the new year. And it’s hard to devote yourself to a new healthy eating regime when the biscuit stash still remains! So in-between nibbling biscuits and getting used to early morning starts again I’ve been easing myself slowly into the new year and making plans.

Plans which aren’t quite ready to see the light of day yet… Nevertheless, I’m excited about what 2018 will bring and the new paths I will explore. I do know that gardening is going to feature heavily. My bramble-entwined patch requires some urgent attention. If you are interested in me documenting my progression here leave a comment below.

Mooredge in the Mist: Folklore, Landscape and Heritage from the Wuthering North. Photography by Bryony Whistlecraft

I also have a confession to make. In addition to needing a break to clear my head, I also found myself without a single picture to share or word to write. The truth is I haven’t taken any photos for over a month now. A few family snaps, and that’s all. For a start, I haven’t been anywhere or done anything remotely Instagram-worthy. But the main reason is down to my confidence taking rather a bruising at the end of last year. It was just a silly thing really, my work was rejected for a local exhibition. It was a shame, but it became rather apparent I’d taken it far worse than I should.

You see, I had a pretty miserable time at university and it took me a long time to rediscover my creative urges. I thought I had dealt with these issues but it seems I still have some work to do. I’m not here to moan or fish for compliments, I know these issues are my own to sift through. I do actually feel proud of my work (most of the time). I just need to dust myself off, metaphorically, and get back in the saddle!

In the immediate future, my plan is to get back into a regular rhythm of writing here and sharing photos on Instagram again. As soon I go out and take some of course…

10 comments

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your work being rejected at the exhibition, Bryony. Your work is absolutely brilliant, and I could definitely, personally, see how your work grew tremendously over the last year. I know for me, I was struggling with my own slump with my photography as a result of receiving certain comments from so-called “professionals” who I sought general advice from, in terms of direction that bothered me way more than I wanted to admit. So in the confidence sense, I can definitely relate, since I was/have been struggling with it myself.

    There will definitely be more opportunities for exhibitions for you, though! Your work is absolutely beautiful, where your passion for the land is really infused in all of your work. I’m really looking forward to seeing what projects you’ll be working on this year. And in terms of your gardening, it would be awesome to see you post updates! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind words my friend!
      I think there are certain individuals within any profession who see others as a threat and put them down out of insecurity or jealousy. In my experience the most bitter and twisted amongst them go into teaching!
      It costs nothing to offer constructive critisim or advice to someone aspiring to become better at whatever skill they’re trying to learn. It lifts everyone up when you help.

  2. I would love to see your gardening progress and of course, more of your lovely photography from places I can only dream about visiting. You are so talented and inspiring, and generous to share your adventures! Thank you for doing so.

    Hope the new year is kinder to all of us!

    1. Thank you lovely!
      I’m looking forward to getting really stuck into the garden this year. And squeeze in a few more adventures too.

      I’ve got good feelings about 2018!

  3. i feel you on much of this and am sending much love. really missing you guys as well and feeling like a UK trip is becoming more and more necessary!! the photo posted here is beautiful.

  4. I can really relate to much of what you have said here. My start to 2018 has been slow but it is still winter and we should still be resting and dreaming! Sorry you feel a knock in your confidence, but I really love your photography and admire your courage to follow your heart and get creative. Keep going! And I’d love to follow your gardening adventures if you’re willing to share. Miss you and hope we can reconnect sometime in 2018. xx

    1. Thanks Esther <3 I think of you and Martin often and would dearly love to cross paths again soon. You know you're always welcome to visit should you be up this end of the country!

  5. This photo is breathtaking… How could you be unsure of your work????

    Oh I know. How can we be many ways…? Because we have listened to some voice, not our own. But you will listen to your own. And will know, your work is lovely.

    I so agree that Jan. 1st is not the time to plow into New Things! January, and as long as it takes, are for following nature and adapting hibernation ways. Slow… Inward… Musing…. Contemplating… Learning from self….

    Happy to see you posting! Will be happy to see you on Instagram, when I pop in there. I’ve not been a faithful viewer there, with nothing-much-to-picture, myself. But there is always so much to seeeeee! Must return.

    Gentle hugs…

    1. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words!
      Sadly silencing that inner critic is much harder than it sounds… just as you think you’ve gotten rid of them, up they pop again. But I’ll keep on doing what I’m doing. It makes me happy, so I know I’m on the right path.

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