Don’t rush editing
It's so easy to rush editing a photo. This has its place in fast paced industries, but not when doing work for yourself. Enjoy the process and take as long as you'd like. Just make sure you finish what you start. Editing slowly allows me to explore freely and determine a direction or style.
The first round of editing is usually the hardest since it involves a lot of trial and error, but it's a step in the right direction. Nothing comes out perfectly on the first attempt. I find an iterative approach suits my workflow and the photoprogresses one step at a time. This prevents me from getting stuck. If I do get stuck I'll go work on something else or come back to it after a few days. Coming back to work with fresh eyes is important.
My goal was to create a dreamy and surreal mood which is new territory for me. When I think dreamy and surreal I think of Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. It has always been a important album for me and its dreamy and surreal in every way imaginable. I believe there is an inextricable connection between music and art. They both influence each other. With that said I couldn’t rely on past editing techniques such as using high contrast, crushing the shadows or desaturation to achieve my desired mood. This forced me to take a different path where the colors and textures above are uncommon for me to use.
Six versions of the photo from start to finish.
Two alternates that I wasn't too crazy about.
Take as many risks as you want with an image. What's the worst that can happen? You can always take a step back if you don't like what you see, or you can keep going and end up somewhere you couldn’t imagine. The latter is worthwhile if you're up for a challenge. Also don't forget that there are far more serious risks in the world than deciding which way you choose to edit an image. You won't create something you love all the time and that's okay. You'll learn as you go
Anyway, curiosity keeps me creative. I'd rather question whats possible during the process rather than afterwards.