The Archives

  • 2018 (1)
  • 2016 (9)
  • 2015 (1)
  • 2014 (59)
  • 2013 (286)
  • 2012 (73)
  • 2011 (14)
  • 2010 (30)
  • 2009 (101)
  • 2008 (88)

The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

More of Doug's books »
Doug's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Time Since Reboot

  • 1252 days, 2 hours, 36 minutes, 3 seconds ago


It is always the question of how to write… never what to write. Always how to photograph, and never what. When. How long.

Do I want to write on my iPad now that I have an iPad. Will my words flow faster or slower typing or writing – electronic or ink to paper. Will it be as tactile and as satisfying as amassing shelves of black spiral-bound notebooks. Should I go to Barnes & Noble and get a new 5 dollar Moleskine. Does that make me a writer. Does that recapture the writer that was.

Photos. Do I re-set-up the darkroom in the basement. Do I locate and fix the light leak in my old repurposed pinhole Conley. Do I need new camera strap so I don’t feel like a total douche with my Nikon-branded strap… so I don’t feel weighted down by bulky speed straps. So I can wear my camera all the time. Do I need a macro lens. Do I need to save up for the new D4. A Leica M9.

How do I create.

That clearly is not the question. This is a question?

So much mental energy is spent on the how of creation – and I never ever make it to: what should I create, when should I create. Clearly the answers are whatever automatically comes without forethought and planning and whenever I amass enough shit to get it right. Is that what makes an artist? Shit?

The artistry comes from constancy, consistency, practice, write crap photograph crap learn craft repeat repeat. A baby stage I never make it to because consumerism leaked in somewhere just like no matter how much time I spent on spinning that needle through the aluminum coke can panel and blacking out and taping up and sealing off the light leaks into that old wooden camera and diminishes each work it produces.

And maybe I was never a writer or a photographer. I never attended workshops or enrolled in MFA programs. I read and ape. Maybe it isn’t enough. But even if it never was enough, if all I ever did was journal and click and tinker and spew, it was satisfying. Where is that now. When does the cycle break. When does the creation begin again. When does it start to be important again. Was it ever important.

These aren’t questions. There are no answers except one – no progress is made if nothing is ever begun.

This is unfiltered. And this is just for me.


Instructions For Wayfarers

Instructions For Wayfarers

They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.

They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.

You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .

~Robert Fulghum, Third Wish