Jarrod Reno – Colorado based Destination Portrait & Wedding Photographer » Portraits and Weddings on Film & Polaroid

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Creativity? Passion? Fear? Madness. Oh and a new year.

jarrod renaud
Hey happy new year!

I got a book a while back and with the new year here it popped back into my mind. Figured I’d share a little something.  Its called QUITTER. Its by Jon Acuff.

The whole first chapter talks about how our generation (mid 20’s-30’s) and how many of us look at quitting our jobs to follow dreams as being heroic. The co-worker who runs off to blog full time or travel as a photographer or records an album… “man oh man they have it made! Gah! So couragous!” And we think, “Ah man, thats gonna be me next.”As we so enviously watch them gather up their belongings and walk out those double doors for the last time without even a glance back. Its so funny, and so true, at least in my rounds.

John’s got some amazing points in the first chapter and I think it sets the rest of the book up great because it psychs you up like crazy although he remains focused on wisdom and the fact that just dropping your job while you jump off a cliff isn’t the greatest idea if you can’t yet fly.

But anyways, he goes into some words about how our WHY, our CALLING, our DREAMS get subtly lost along the way because of various reasons … and that we need to recover these dreams. The crazy thing is that many of us float for years searching out new things, trying to discover our CALLING but all along its actually something that we already had a taste of and maybe that taste was when we were children, maybe in high school, maybe it was a year ago but either way. It’s there to be recovered, not necessarily discovered.

There’s this small part I’ll quote for you that hit me pretty hard because it speaks to where I’ve been at creatively for the last few years . Just before he writes this quote hetells you how he was working on a book and his wife read the first chapter, she said it was well written and amazing but told him…  “John, it’s all lies…” Taken back by her response he then goes on;

“I wasn’t writing the book I wanted to write. I was writing the book I thought I should write. I was sitting down and trying to copy the writing of other authors. I was writing Donald Miller’s book or Tim Ferriss’ book.


Because I had discounted my dream. I was afraid to give credence to those often frightening feelings that come with wanting something fervently.”

Huge realization happened for me. Somehow in fear of my own self, in fear of what God set in my heart Ive come to fear my very own dreams! Along with that I just didn’t know where my youthful courage went and was at a loss to say the least. At that point you really start questioning everything, when you realize your motives have been skewed you realize you don’t even know yourself. Thats a weird feeling.

Any of us who create, we’ve been creating since we were little ones, right? You ask a class full of 5 year olds who’s an artist and every single one of them will raise their hand, you ask the same question every two years and they start dropping like flys. Art is personal, its sacred, it puts us in a vulnerable place and as we grow up we build walls around our hearts as we seek affirmation from peers. If we see others getting affirmed for something then we’ll tend to copy that. The thing is that this leaves our friends, our loved ones, the world missing out on what could have been life changing to us and them if we had only believed our individual dreams long enough to confidently share. Each of our perspectives have been shaped differently by years of life and experience, we have amazing things to share and our spirits are full of creation. We need to create and give from our very own hearts. Yah?

What are your thoughts? Drop some comments if you have a sec!


Tasha - It is so hard to step outside the mainstream model mold, because like the author said, when I stay within the accepted boundaries I get more praises for my work. I’m doing what everyone else is doing. However, it is so much more fulfilling to step outside of that and do what I really want to do. When it’s not acknowledged or praised like my other work, it can be disappointing. Even so, it feels so good to see the photos where I’ve aligned with who I really am inside. The false veneer has been removed and I can actually see me.

Loved your post, I’m excited to see where your passions take you :)

Bryce - Don’t count this as affirmation. To do so would value a blog comment much more than it is worth. But I just wanted to say I enjoyed this and now I have two book recommendations from you that I need to look into.

Ashley - This post really hits home with me because I’m in the process of rediscovering my dreams and it’s really exciting! I don’t know yet if I’ll have the courage to go through with things, but I suppose that looking for the dreams and giving them voice and name is a start. My husband is also in the process of making a big career change and I think he would really enjoy this book, thank you for the recommendation! Right now he’s reading “Overworked and Underlaid” by Nigel Marsh, which is about realizing what’s really important to you in life. (I think. That’s what it sounds like anyways when he quotes it 2 or 3 times a day, hahaha!)
A very happy new year to you!

jarrod - @bryce dude, a blog comment from you is worth a thousand cranberry bliss bars! We’re looking forward to hanging out next week.

meredith - I think the main thing that I’ve learned so far that I continuously say to myself (as should everyone): “No one can do you as well as you do.” It’s not only a constant reminder to be confident in myself, but it also helps me realize that even if someone is trying to do the SAME THING I am (like act, or model, or be a photographer, or what-have-you) that there really is no competition–we each have our own ways of doing it, our own experiences that lead up to these points, and each of us will continue to learn from everything (if we allow ourselves). We’re ever-changing individuals which is why we’re so hard to pin down and figure out: “who am I?” It’s a silly question to even ask. You’re you. You’re you better than anyone else ever could be.

jarrod - @ashley so awesome:) feels like i know soo many people that are in this boat right now. Glad you’ll be picking up that book, its great. And its smart and full of wisdom, its help my perspective with my 8-5 job, this job even though has nothing to do with what Im truly passionate about, has its place in my journey. Thanks for the comment Ashley!

jarrod - @meredith yes!! Straight wisdom

Nathan - Hey Jarrod — Have you heard of Ken Robinson’s book, “The Element”. I think you’d enjoy it. His ideas parallel what you’re saying here. He also has an awesome talk on TED.com discussing creativity, and how we nurture or stifle it. Thanks for the thoughts man. I’ve just ordered Quitter.

jarrod - @nathan hey! i havn’t heard of that book but am looking it up right now!!

Amanda - Oh man…I’ve just sat here hanging on every word of this. I can relate to everything you’ve said and I’m in the “let go of my job to chase my dreams because I was forced to and yet still can’t grasp it” category.
I want to read that book and the books recommended in the comments.
Thanks for sharing this, Jarrod.

Victor - Read this on your recommendation; loved it. Thanks for the pro tip! Also, love your work sir. Excellent stuff.

Justin Michau - Most of all, it’s affirming to know that we’re not on this train of fear and uncertainty alone. Like ole Teddy said ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’, and it’s some of us actually need to realize we are in our dream instead of trying to get in someone else’s. This is hitting at a good time. Thanks man.

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