Now I am 2

Now I am 2

No, I’m not getting married, nor do I have a newborn child. It’s my business – it’s 2 years old. 2! When I took voluntary redundancy in the autumn of 2012, I never thought I would be where I am now. In fact, if we’re being honest, I didn’t think much at all. If you’re looking for a model of how to plan a business, then steer well clear of my model of start-up.

However, despite my gung-ho and slightly clueless attitude to starting my own business, things really haven’t gone badly. I set myself a target for this financial year, which it looks like I might just exceed. I’ve done some really interesting stuff – creating stories for virtual worlds, delivering training to groups as small as five and as large as 200, writing for social history exhibitions, compiling books, creating exhibitions spaces, commissioning songs, piecing together magazine articles… And, perhaps the biggest achievement, I haven’t gone loopy working from home.

When I reflect back on the last two years, one thing I can say is that God has been with me every step of the way. If you don’t think much of Christianity, then you’re welcome to disagree, but I truly believe he has.

So, thank you so much for supporting me. No one said I was being foolish by taking voluntary redundancy (and I really thought loads of people would!) – everyone was awesome. And thanks also to those who had enough faith in me to give me work, I’ve loved every minute… well, almost, but that’s the case with any job, isn’t it?

Here’s to the next two years!

Ten things I have learnt so far

Ten things I have learnt so far

On this rather cold Friday afternoon, I’ve come to a pause in my work. Some of my projects have finished and others are in various stages of waiting. So I thought I’d make myself a cup of coffee with my new machine and look back at my first four months working as Creative Daydream. In a move that should only be described as ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, rather than simply ‘stealing’, I’m going to make a list of ten things I have learnt, after Becca Dean (@beccadean).

1 Darren Hill has done wonders with my website. I have had so many great comments about the website, and I can’t really take much credit for it! All I did was come up with the text and then Darren worked his magic* on it. And lovely it is too.

2 I am terrible at resisting temptation. To eat, that is. Being so close to my entire food supply is incredibly tricky. The temptation to make for the kitchen cupboard every five minutes has been so overwhelming that I’ve moved as far away as I can, without actually being outside.

3 People have received me with such warmth and encouragement. I have to say, this surprised me a little, I don’t know why. But every time I’ve talked with someone about work, rather than being met with resistance and awkwardness, people have been really open and welcoming. So thank you, people-I-have-already-worked-with, you’ve made starting this venture much smoother than it might have been.

4 I love writing. I was surprised initially when the majority of my work turned out to be writing, but I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Some commissions have been trickier than others, but they’ve all taught me something about various writing styles, and helped me improve. So if you want anything written, you know where I am… 😉

5 I love being creative even more. There have been a couple of projects that have given me the chance to get the big pieces of paper out and let my imagination run riot. It was fabulous to be so free in coming up with new ideas. I’d love to do more.

6 My feet get cold really quickly. Not as quickly as they did when I took the youth group ice skating (I didn’t even go on the ice and my big toe went completely white), but they do get chilly. I have developed a coping mechanism made up of a duvet, Totes Toasties** and giant slippers.

7 Collaboration is the future, but takes careful planning. I put together some films for a Lent project with two very creative people, but I struggled a bit because we didn’t do the creative work face to face. I found discussing things over the phone or via email very difficult. There was a natural lag in the conversation caused by a delay in the phone line, and I didn’t know if my collaborators were being reticent because they didn’t like my ideas or if it was just the mobile network. Next time, I’m going to insist on being in the same room! The films are fantastic though. Check them out here.

8 I’m useless at Popmaster. I like having the chance to listen to a bit of radio when I work, but when Popmaster comes on, my quizzing credentials go out the window – I rarely get into double figures. Sorry Matt Bayfield, I feel I’ve let you down somehow…

9 I don’t miss being in an office as much as I thought I would. I’ve managed to put stuff in the diary that means I see people regularly and don’t turn into a mad man who constantly talks to himself.*** And sometimes the solitude allows me to concentrate! Also having great friends and good hobbies outside of work helps massively. I do miss office conversation though – have you got your wide-fitting trainers on Eddie?

10 I’ve loved the variety. So far I’ve done work with Youthwork Magazine, Scripture Union, Jo Dolby, Becca Dean, Authentic Media, Youth For Christ, BRF, the SU/American Bible Society international partnership, Childrenswork Magazine, Speakeasy writers’ group and my friend Mel. Brilliant.

This is only a snapshot, I’m still learning so much! And here’s to learning more in the future too.

 

*Metaphorical magic of course, he’s not a warlock.

**Other thermal slipper socks are available.

***Though I have to say that I’ve always talked to myself, so this is actually nothing new.