After deciding to free myself from the constraints of journalistic photography, I started working in my darkroom with different papers and materials, adding paint, gold and silver leaf, and text to prints. But I wasn't happy with the way I was shooting. I looked at the work of photographers whose work I admire and chose Keith Carter as someone whose style I wanted to move toward. I filled out a contact form on his website, asking if he might be willing to mentor me, and he kindly wrote back, saying he didn't have time for that sort of thing, but that I might want to sign up for his Santa Fe workshop. I did.
The biggest takeaways for me were using poetry as inspiration for shooting and letting go of "the rules." The other thing I learned was how great if felt to get out of my little darkroom and out among other photographers. I'd been working alone for so long, I'd forgotten.