365 Words. 365 Days. 365 Opportunities.

Yasna C. Provine in Los Lunas, New Mexico is creating 365 Words. 365 Days. 365 Opportunities. She explains, "This project is three fold:  I wake up in the morning and think of a word.  I take my camera with me throughout the day (to school, to work, to run errands, etc.) to find a picture that represents the word.  Then, once the picture is taken, I write a poem about the picture (and implicitly about the word)."...

Why did you decide to do this project?  I decided to do this project because I was feeling like I didn't have anything going on in my life that I was absolutely passionate about, that I woke up and fought to find time for.  I found a disconnect between the way I see myself, which is a creative person and the way I lived my life (just kind of going through the motions).  Writing poetry comes naturally to me, but I have to work at taking pictures.  I thought, why not create a project where I will inevitably become more creative and a better photographer at the same time?

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? This project has made me feel very intense emotions about my "calling."  I see myself -- just after a week of doing this project -- as so much more creative!  It's amazing to have a goal each day and see it become a finished product.  I had one very hard day, where I just could not find a subject for my photograph.  I drove around for 3 hours looking for something, stopping at various places, and nothing stood out to me.  I thought about changing the word -- it's not like anyone would have known the difference since it's all published at once -- but I stuck with it.  I felt like I needed the stress and the struggle.  I finally got my picture (at home!!!) and felt so upset with myself.  I was angry that I had spent such a big portion of my day specifically looking for a picture and it was nowhere to be found, and then I came home and there it was.  It just goes to show that creativity cannot be forced. 

The other thing I noticed is that I can actually entertain people with my work.  People seem to like what I've been doing.  Up until this point, my poetry-writing has always been a very private, emotionally dense experience.  So, sharing my vulnerability in this way and having people not only respect it, but like it, is very powerful.  This project has helped me to become more confident in my own skills as a creative communicator.  It's also helped me to think of myself as a person who IS creative, rather than one who has the potential to be.  What I find most interesting is that my personal focus on this project was initially on the photography, not the writing, because the writing is what I knew would anchor me within the project.  But the response I'm getting from readers and the way I feel emotionally as I'm writing every day is really proving that this project is completely focused on the writing.  I continue to be challenged and to find new and interesting things to write and photograph.  Here's to many more days of creativity!

You can see all of Yasna's words, days, and opportunities HERE.

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