What do you doubt?

As I write this, I am in the middle of creating my annual photo storybook that I will present as a Christmas gift to my family. I’ve completed one every year for the past 5 years, but I’m worried that I won’t finish it in time to ship it. I’m worried that it won’t be any good .

Uncertainty is a bitch. Doubt sets my teeth on edge. Fear will paralyze me.

The theme just isn’t working. I’ve written four drafts and none are quite right. I have loads of outtakes which are crap! (I’m trying not to use that word. But since it’s so descriptive, I’m using it. Maybe, I’ll give it up for Lent.)

This twisted creativity is revealing.

I’m so singularly focused in my desire to complete this project of love that I’ve neglected everything else in my life. The toilets are dirty, the dog is chasing dust bunnies and my family has nothing to eat. Una mas? Maybe.

I could let it go . I don’t have to do this. But I want to. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when it’s complete. Even if no one else appreciates it, I do. And so I continue to torture myself. Like a chef looking for the perfect spice for his soup, I’m still searching for the zing to give my creation the right flavor.

I ask myself: What’s the reason I began it in the first place? If I could only get back to that place and believe again. As I browsed through more photos and read the words for the umpteenth time, something clicked. The number ‘three’ had a significance that I wanted to tap, but how? I threw out everything I had written and started over. This time I wrote from my heart. Once I began, I couldn’t stop. Three tales emerged:

  1. a short story about how our puppy Beck came into our lives
  2. a photo essay of the year with page captions written in five words or less, and
  3. a tribute to our late dog Ruby.

I had found my rhythm.

P.S. I published and shipped the book in the nick of time. It’s called Three Little Birds and you can view the online pdf version by clicking on the book: 

Bonus:  My Other Published Books

(click on the book to view the pdf – pretty cool, huh?)

The Right Tilt (2009) [issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=091224124218-4b9ce316c27d415bad353d3b4c8d6e53 docname=the_right_tilt username=kbruneau loadinginfotext=The%20Right%20Tilt showhtmllink=true tag=2009 width=300 height=116 unit=px]

Growing Up Hero (2008)

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=101230201620-dfd265a49f864ae2947a06f414577e55 docname=hero_book username=kbruneau loadinginfotext=Growing%20Up%20Hero showhtmllink=true tag=photo%20book width=300 height=116 unit=px]

Planet James (2007)

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=101230204007-be0862af0b6644ff945857539186b34a docname=planet-james-book username=kbruneau loadinginfotext=Planet%20James%20book showhtmllink=true width=300 height=116 unit=px]

In Search of Animals (2006)

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=101230203039-85fd972a4e9145ba849963201727ebfe docname=in-search-of–06final- username=kbruneau loadinginfotext=IN%20SEARCH%20OF%20(06final) showhtmllink=true width=300 height=116 unit=px]

The Little Big Book of James (2005)

[issuu layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml showflipbtn=true documentid=101230203602-c710cbdff4d2412d95a390b108676408 docname=little-big-book-final username=kbruneau loadinginfotext=little%20big%20book%20final showhtmllink=true width=300 height=116 unit=px]

Coming in 2011: How you can publish an awesome photo book – Quick and dirty tips to getting it done without a headache


  1. Gwen

    Hi Kris! Happy New Year to you and yours. As usual, your creativity brings joy to my morning and even a lump in my throat because the love you share through your writing is so evident–even palpable!

    What do I doubt? I often doubt I will muster the energy and courage to find my voice, to ship a product of merit, etc. Yet, having admitted that, I am determined to silence the gremlin on my shoulder, the LIZARD BRAIN that Seth Godin describes in his marvelous book “Linchpin,” and get to work on two stalled projects! Thank you for “shipping” your work Kris. You are an inspiration.


  2. Ann Hovey

    What a wonderful gift for your family and all of us that have been lucky to view it!! I have started doing this in a DVD format for my mom last year and it’s always fun to revisit all we have done in the year!

    Happy New Year!!

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