Progress Journal: Finding the Way
Usually when I notice that the last day of the month is fast approaching, I wonder where the hell the last four weeks have gone. Scrambling to recall what I’d done in the weeks I had literally just lived, penning these posts came with a sense of urgency and unpreparedness... But this time, writing this very post, feels entirely different. I’m actually really excited to reflect on all the things I did this month! And, whilst I wish I’d worked on more shoots, I feel fulfilled.
I think this was largely in part to joining in with Holly’s Intention Seekers Autumn workshop near the start of September. We looked back on the year, delved into aspects of life we’d like more of, recalibrated with our values and set some goals for the final few months of the year. During the workshop Holly said “A goal without a deadline is just a dream” and boy, oh boy, did that set a fire under my ass. I went from feeling a bit muddled to knowing exactly what I wanted from the remainder of the year, and what I wanted to do to get there.
My priorities swiftly became marketing myself and my portraiture work, getting creative with photography, video and writing; focusing on wellbeing and keeping my space in check, and spending more meaningful time with loved ones. Then it was time to get started!
I was lucky enough to shoot with Amy and Bec, and Bev this month, and am in talks about a possible two day shoot - which is all very exciting! I’m so grateful to everyone who has booked in with me so far this year. It’s given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, has led to other shoots, and I’ve improved my portraiture skills dramatically. If I’m honest, progress of getting booked up to a level that makes self employment sustainable for me, is very slow though. Now, I’m only two and a half months in so I’m not at a point where I feel frantic, but going from being employed in some way, shape or form since I was 16 makes this feel incredibly alien!
Reviewing where I’m at has made me see that focusing more on marketing my services, on and offline, is where I need to improve. I’ve focused my work on individual portraiture, rejigged my site (again!) to show that off, began work on an eBook, purchased business cards and flyers from Moo - not spon or an AD, but here’s my referral link if you’d like 25% off! (I receive credit when you purchase something through it which is super helpful for purchasing more promotional material) - and have joined Glow & Grow too. From taking part in Intention Seekers, I’ve seen the importance of investing in myself and my work, so I believe this will be valuable too.
In 2017, I was writing blog posts all the time. This worked wonders for my creativity muscle, but somewhere along the line I ran out of ideas, became wrapped up in working long hours for my last job, and fell out of the habit of flexing it frequently. Whenever I decided to get back into it, overthinking would run riot, then imposter syndrome took the reigns - and that was that. My blog fell silent and everything since has been in bursts.
Even though my blog hasn’t been a bustling hub of content this month, I’ve been writing down dozens of ideas and working on a bunch of posts behind the scenes. After reading Michelle’s post on how blogging has shaped and impacted her life, where she notes Daisybutter as a constant since it’s creation ten years ago, and her discovery in that time as it being her space, I started to see my corner of the web as the place that could provide that same opportunity for me.
What I love about blogging is that, when it comes to content, there are no rules. Blogs are completely mouldable and can be shaped as the creator develops their skills, interests and grows in life. I think this space is the perfect accompaniment to everything I do and am interested in. And, as I become more aware of links between creativity, photography, freelancing and wellbeing, it would be nice for this space to become my constant.
All in all, September has been a really great month for personal progress. A gap in therapy made me realise that I had nothing left to work through at this point in time. Even though I’ve wrapped up my sessions, I’ve got no quarrels about returning to therapy in the future if I need it, but mentally I’m in a good place right now. I’ve been gratitude journalling for over a month, giving myself positive affirmations every day and prioritising rest. FINALLY TAKING MY OWN ADVICE!!! I’ve been reading more, writing more, and I’m feeling inspired again. Things are getting clearer, and that’s all from pausing and reevaluating where I’m at. And I’m happy with where I am at the moment.
Then to round things off, my boyfriend and I celebrated our one year anniversary in a family, friend’s cottage just outside of Oundle. We watched Strictly, worked on a puzzle in front of the fire, moseyed around Stamford, ate delicious dinners and cakes, and I had the most aaaammmaaaaazzziiiiinnnngggg jet bath. I would have gladly stayed another week, or two, or three...
I feel energised for the end of the year now, and I’m just so grateful that this is my life.