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The Power of Journaling – Tim Layton Fine Art Philosophy

If you are seeking to take your photography to deeper levels and achieve your purest and innermost goals, journaling is a tool that will serve you very well.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

Epictetus the slave. Marcus Aurelius, the emperor. Seneca the power broker and playwright. These three radically different men led radically different lives. But they all have one habit in common: Journaling.

Epictetus lead by example and taught his student to “write down day by day” and their journal was how they “should exercise themselves.”

Seneca’s favorite time to journal was in the evenings. When the night sky had fallen, and his wife had gone asleep, he explained to a friend, “I examine my entire day and go back over what I’ve done and said, hiding nothing from myself, passing nothing by.” Then he would go to bed, finding that “the sleep which follows this self-examination” was particularly sweet, and he awoke with an empty mind, ready and eager to learn and move forward with the new day.

In Stoicism, the art of journaling is more than some simple diary. This daily practice is the philosophy. Preparing for the day ahead. Reflecting on the day that has passed. Reminding oneself of the wisdom we have learned from our teachers, from our reading, and our own experiences. It’s not enough to hear these lessons once; instead, one practices them repeatedly, turns them over in their mind, and most importantly, writes them down and feels them flowing through their fingers in doing so.

If you journaled your deepest thoughts and experiences related to your photography, what would happen? I can tell you that my photography has risen to new levels, and I am crystal clear and intentional with everything I do. I suspect you would benefit as well. Give it a try for at least a month, and let me know how that works for you.

Stoicism is designed to be a practice and a routine. It’s not a philosophy you read once and magically understand at the soul-level. No, it’s a lifelong pursuit that requires diligence and repetition and concentration. We can say very similar things about photography as well.

By combining journaling with your photography and the relentless pursuit of finding deeper meaning that drives the “why” behind your work, only good things will happen in my opinion.

-Tim Layton Sr.

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