11 Apr 2008 Shoot Daily and Contribute Nightly Challenge
After writing about microstock market share yesterday and appreciating the super-sized portfolios of the super microstockers, I’ve been inspired by some creative goal setting. Andres Rodriguez has challenged Sean Nell over on the Shutterstock forums to post-process, keyword and upload 900 already-shot photos in the month of April. Additionally, Matt Antonio over at NiltoMil has set himself the target of both creating and contributing 15 new photos every day for the month.
These goals have inspired me to develop my own series of challenges. I’ve already created a list of challenges that will create a helpful habit, develop a skill, or stretch boundaries. I’ll introduce each challenge at the start of the week and share what I created and learned on the weekend. I invite you to participate in any of the challenges that inspire you and to share your experiences in the comments of my results posts.
The First Challenge
The first challenge is an obvious choice given the cited examples. Starting Monday, the challenge is to shoot daily and contribute nightly. The quantity of shots you create and contribute is up to you – the point is to get yourself into a flow where creating microstock photos becomes a natural daily routine. Shooting during the day and then post-processing and uploading at night suits me, but choose a routine that works for you.
Also choose a target quantity that’s suitable for your lifestyle. If you’re a full time microstocker your number will be high. If you have a full time job and are the parent of young kids, your number will likely be lower. It’s important to pick a number that, as Matt suggested, is both challenging and achievable. Stretching helps you grow, but if you can’t make it work you’ll get discouraged. It’s better to start low and increase if you find you can.
I’m starting off with the same number as Matt – 15. I have enough time in my day to shoot enough shots to get 15 worthy of contributing. My wife does all our post processing, so 15 per day is achievable with us working together.
It’s important not to beat yourself up if you miss a day or don’t meet your target quantity. I used to do this a lot until I realized that it didn’t help. If you miss a day, remember it’s just a challenge designed to help you achieve what you’re committed to achieving. Authentically look at what happened and deal with whatever comes up. The important thing is to recommit for the next day. It’s just a week, so it’s worth persisting to see what happens.
Remember, this challenge is designed to form a habit, so don’t stop at the end of the week!
Sharing the Results
At the end of the week I’ll show the best photo from each day and share what I learned from the challenge. I expect that, more than the extra photos, it will be what I learn from the accelerated experience of shooting daily and contributing night that increases my microstock earnings.