Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Thursday, June 30, 2022

I suck

Watson Lake Arizona abstract.  Inspiration for an uninspiring sunset.

OK, not really, but sometimes it feels that way. 

I had this conversation with one of the guides on our Grand Canyon raft trip last May.  I was walking around camp looking for inspiration one evening and she was kind enough to ask how I was.  It may have been the look on my face which concerned her; maybe she thought I was at risk to go postal.  This sort of meltdown prevention is a little-appreciated part of these guides’ complex jobs. I prefer to think she was just being social.  Anyway, nothing was working and I had that feeling.  I told her that the problem was that I suck.  Sometimes.


A hail-mary shot at Organ Pipe Cactus NM Arizona

I went on to say that this funk is part of the creative process, at least for me.  We had a good chat.

In one of those moments of synchronicity, this quote popped up somewhere in social media land as soon as I was reunited with my phone.

"Sure, you’re supposed to enjoy the gift of creation. But if it doesn’t, on occasion, make you howl with self-deprecation, if you don’t sometimes wonder whether everything you’ve done up until now is pure crap, or whether you even have any talent, then something’s wrong. You’re supposed to feel these things. They keep you on the edge of your passions, inspiration, and drive." ~Paul Dorrell

Watson Lake sunrise when the lake was not looking interesting

I remember during Medical School and residency, learning about sleep deprivation.  It makes me paranoid and grumpy. At first it was a little frightening, out of control.  Then I noticed that, though uncomfortable, the process is predictable and self-limited.

“Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.”  ~Mark Knopfler

Grand Canyon sunset reflection detail

Oddly, some of the images that I’m unhappy with I eventually decide to be worth sharing.  I wasn’t sure how to illustrate this post (it is a photo blog, after all) but eventually settled on images that maybe didn’t suck so much after all.  You didn't think I'd post the stinkers, did you? This one is from that night at Nankoweep, in the Grand Canyon.

 Hang in there, creatives.  This too shall pass.


  1. May the occasional feeling of photographic failure only spur you on to more of you wonderful images. You are one of my heroes. Truly

    1. Lee, how kind. I do so appreciate your kind words and support over the years.