Before starting this post I went back and read my epically long post about last June's Blogtacular - how this can be very nearly a year ago is beyond me. It's been quite the year for most of us, on all sorts of levels...
Anyway, before I head back off to Blogtacular next week (yes the end of next week - squeee!), I wanted to revisit those actions I set myself and see if I actually managed to do any of them. I've yet to decide what exactly I'm aiming to take away from the event this year, but with the most amazing sounding line up (and so many sessions I'm keen to do) I'm sure to have a plan before the 10th...
So, back to last year's actions. Here they are, and how I got on:
1. I think that part of my ideas drought/current funk comes from feeling like a bit of a fraud (Lisa Congdon spoke about not feeling like a "real artist" and getting over this) - so I'm planning to have a proper clear out/reorganise of my studio - get rid of the stuff that doesn't feel like me any more, re-do my inspiration wall... hoping this will help (I should also get a blog post or two out of it!!).
I think it worked! I did have a big studio clear out (and have done this again more recently - I also have a computer in here now, and so work in here most of the time, which is helping too - see my post from last week). I'm also throwing myself in the deep end a lot more, and saying I can do stuff. I've discovered that people describe me in all sorts of ways (designer, blogger, artist) and I quite like all of these hats - I think the more you do something (and do it reasonably well) the less of a fraud you feel. I'm sure the old imposter syndrome thing will never really go away but it's progress!
2. From the ideas workshop - taking the post ideas I already have that don't work very well and looking at them in a different way - maybe it's not the idea that doesn't work, but the format - how many formats are there? I need to brainstorm ideas in a different way - I drew a little chart in my notebook after Kirsty's session and I'm going to go back to this.
And this has absolutely worked - quite a turnaround in the types of post which are popular. I have had an ideas drought when it comes to tutorials though and haven't posted one for months. Perhaps I'll feel a little more inspired once I've chatted to folks next week.
3. I'm going to make a proper effort to come up with some more properly collaborative blog posts - if you have any idea for something we could do together and want to get the ball rolling let me know!
Managed a couple but then life got in the way. I'm going to treat this as an ongoing action - once again, if you're reading this and fancy working together on something, give me a shout!
4. I'm going to make more effort to keep and write in my many notebooks....
Hmmm, well my current one is full so that's a start?!
5. I've been working really hard on my Instagram account but I'm going to make more effort to keep it consistent to increase followers and engagement - I've already started limiting myself to 2-3 filters (and A Color Story - not Instagram's own!).
I still don't have a huge number of followers, but my account is so much better. I think long and hard about what I post and what order I post in. My 365 project is proving fairly popular and it lends a consistency to my gallery. I also make a concerted effort to post plenty of pictures of my work so people know what I do. I've been posting images which don't fit in my grid on my other account Sundays in Suburbia.
6. I'm going to use my other blog (Sundays in Suburbia) to really work on improving my writing - as that's the one where I go for the full stream of consciousness thing...
And this one is on hiatus. I kept going with it until October and then found I was so busy what with this blog, Just A Card and actual paid work, I had to drop something. The first few months of the year are a lot quieter, but I've been completely stuck for ideas. It's still up there though and I plan to go back to it.
7. I'm going to stop being scared of talking to people. Almost everyone I spoke to - speakers or not - knew who I was when I introduced myself. I need to stop being silly. Also need to stop worrying that people think I'm some silly kind of a fangirl (apologies to Lisa Congdon if I came across like that - hope I didn't - will stop worrying about it now!).
A big one. I've gone out and done so many things that have terrified me in the last year that it makes me exhausted just thinking about it. I've also been applying for lots more stuff (so have been welcomed back to the endless stream of rejections too!). I've been recognised in the street (yes - that was really wierd), and people come to events just to see little old me all the time. Oh and people do usually know who I am (this community isn't that huge after all). So I've started being braver and will carry on! I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen?
All in all I think that's a success. I often find that I get quite stuck working on my own all the time, and events like Blogtacular help to shake me out of my rut and give me some completely new ideas to try. Even if I only take one tiny little gem from each session I attend it's well worth it.
If you fancy joining us next week, you can get a ticket here.