How did that happen?!
I’m almost three-quarters into my year away from the traditional workplace – a liberating yet also slightly scary realisation. Since Martha returned to school, I’ve been in review mode. What have I achieved? What do I still need to do? Has it all been worth it (so far)?
The answer to the last question is definitely YES! I started this journey with a very loose set of goals (you can read my three month review here) to allow for spontaneity – and the lack of structure has definitely opened up some amazing and unexpected paths. Just after I’d written my first review post, I was featured by Instagram as part of their WHP Challenge which kickstarted a whole new creative chapter and led to mentions in online magazines, HiFiPublic and frolic. Then surprisingly I was featured by Insta again four months afterwards for #WHPdailylife! I know the platform has had some bad press recently, but it’s been really a fulfilling experience for me. Not only have I got to know many lovely like-minded people, I’ve also been able to meld my interest in photography and books in a fun way. I’m not sure where I’ll go from here but I’m enjoying the journey.
Continuing the bookish theme, highlights of the year have also included attending the Bookstagrammer’s Breakfast at the Hay Festival and being part of the Slightly Foxed giveaway – two wonderful experiences I would never have dreamed of six months earlier. Trips to Addyman Books and the Ironbridge Bookshop were the icing on the cake – go and visit them if you can!
The immersion in social media has clarified my career goals too. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working as a social media evaluator and in spring, I started to successfully manage the digital marketing for a printing business. I’ve always enjoyed being involved in online projects and now I’m taking this to the next level by launching as a freelance digital marketer at Cuppasocial. It’s very exciting to be taking this step after dreaming about it for years.
All this has taken time to set up though, and invariably something has had to give. On this occasion sadly it’s been the writing. I have a very rough first draft of a children’s book, which I’m sitting on, and am planning an adult ghost novel with Al, but these are longer-term goals rather than the main focus now.
So what’s planned for the next three months? Well the business obviously! I’ve only just launched officially so I realise it may take time to build my portfolio. I’m keen to keep on stretching my creativity via my Instagram and Pinterest accounts – perhaps by taking a small photography course. We’ve had to be frugal this year but it’s really made us appreciate the simpler things in life. We’d like to develop this further by cutting down on waste, enjoying what we have and contributing towards our local community in some way. I’ve just discovered that a new zero waste shop will be opening in town this month so hopefully these goals will happen sooner rather than later!!
On a final note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported our family this year. We’re lucky to have so many friends, both near and far. Your company has been the best part of all xxx