I have to admit, I am blooming exhausted. That’s why I’ve been quiet for the past week – the 30 Day Challenge was such an intense experience, I needed to go into hibernation at the end of it.
Now that I have recovered (just) I can tell you, those 30 days changed everything:
Firstly, I have loved being part of the 30DC community; connecting with people and following their projects. (As someone who works predominantly alone at home, this has been a real eye-opener. Life is better when I’m part of a community)…
Secondly, I have realised I am not a freak. (Don’t laugh but I have spent most of my life convinced that I have been beamed down from outer space. I realise this is because I have been mixing with the wrong people – i.e. normal earthlings. I need to seek out people who have also been beamed down. The 30DC has shown me they are out there. This simple realisation alone is life-changing)…
Thirdly, I have learnt to just do it and get my stuff out there. (No point hiding away anymore. The more I hide, the more I suffer from anxiety and frustration. Plus it guarantees a life of obscurity and never being discovered. Time to come out of hiding, even if this means some impressive meltdowns from time to time)…
Fourthly, I’ve got some of my spark back again! J said he has “never seen me so happy.” That’s because I was engrossed, focused and excited. I was also anxious, scared (OK, I was shitting myself) and I had several major wobbles, which I’ll tell you about in future posts. Despite all this, I CREATED things – photographs, designs, videos, blog posts…This is what gives me my spark and makes me feel alive. Full stop.
I figure that’s not a bad return for 30 days!
During this time, I interviewed and photographed two people for Spark Stories. I designed a mini range of postcards. I created my first ever videos and learnt how to edit them in MovieMaker. And I finally figured out how to add menus to the top of my blog…and then went berserk and added 5 new ones.
So now what? How am I going to keep playing and creating and having fun (which is ultimately what this is all about)?
Here’s the plan:
More spark interviews…
By the end of the month I’ll post my second interview with the entrepreneur/Angel Investor. I have more interviews in the pipeline. (I also have this mad idea of buying a van and travelling round the UK interviewing people for Spark Stories – ‘the spark on tour’ as someone put it! I feel like a nutcase for thinking this, so I’ll just put the thought out there for now…)
A range of cards and prints…
I am going to create some cards, prints and t-shirts and sell them online (Etsy?) and in local shops. This is something I have always wanted to do. It doesn’t have to be massive. I might not need to do it for long. I just need to do it.
Videos of myself…
I am going to come out of hiding and post some of the videos I created on the 30DC on this blog (gulp). (This is rather like when I tried to get over my fear of heights by abseiling 300ft down the side of Guildford cathedral. I might feel like passing out but I am going to take a deep breath, shut my eyes, and do it.)
Joining Play To Win…
I have joined ‘Play to Win’. This is the next step on from the 30DC, where the aim is to help you turn your play into profit. i.e. actually earn a living doing what you love. (This is something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, so I’ll come back to this topic in my next post).
Writing more picture books…
Do you remember I wrote a post last year about my third picture book? I couldn’t get the ending right. So I left it and trusted inspiration would strike when the time was right. Last week I got the urge to start playing around with the ending and before I knew it, it was finished! I submitted it to some agents on Monday (most publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts).
Being more adventurous (and possibly falling flat on my face)…
Being adventurous means different things to different people. To me it means posting my videos, showing my face, creating little characters that amuse me (and possibly no one else), and writing the kind of children’s stories that only I can write (even if this means no one else likes them). In other words, it means being 100% ‘me’.
Bear with me whilst I get a little evangelical….If you’re not being YOU, what’s the point? Seriously. I have spent 43 years living someone else’s life. And quite frankly, it’s rubbish. From now on, I am going to be as true to myself (and adventurous) as I possibly can.
This will entail falling flat on my face at some point.
When that happens I will try not to care, but secretly I will binge on Jaffer Cakes, drink a bottle of wine, and lay on the sofa cringing for 48 hours….
I don’t care. I’m still going to do it.
To show you I mean business, I’m going to start right now by sharing a stunning photo of me taken on the last night of the 30 Day Challenge last Sunday.
I am knackered (understatement). I have spent the last 4 days working round the clock to get my project finished. I have just posted it online and it is 10pm. The place looks like a bomb has hit it. I have just had a bath. I am wearing my pink fluffy dressing gown. And I am on my third glass of champagne. J has cooked us a celebratory pie with the words “Many happy sparks!” on top.
Welcome to my world :-)
19 thoughts on “The 30 Day Challenge is over…now what?”
Well done for coming out of hiding!! I know what a big deal that is – I was terrified the first time I showed myself on my blog. Like you, I’ve realised how much I have enjoyed the online community, and have some plans of my own along those lines. I love the idea of “the spark on tour”, and all your other plans sound great too. Can’t wait for the next instalment…!
Thanks Julia, isn’t it funny how posting a photo of yourself can cause such anxiety? I really like the sound of your plans – keep me posted!
Morning Katherine not surprised you are exhausted. I can identify with you over 30DC. Felt as if I had creativity speed injected into me. Have you read Women who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes . She was the first person I came across who described how I felt. I have actually come to the conclusion that we are in fact a tribe.
Being part of a community made up dare I say mostly of this tribe is wonderful and heart warming.
Ha ha, ‘creativity speed’ is exactly what it feels like! I haven’t read that book but someone else has mentioned it to me recently so I will definitely investigate. Thank you for commenting – it’s lovely to meet other tribe members :-)
Such a happy story! Yay!
[insert a bazillion other congratulatory statements]
That has got to be one of my favourite comments, thanks David!
To get preachy, I like your willingness to risk failure. In my own modest successes, I always seem to have some failure I can point to. That failure changed my direction and led me to success. “Church” dismissed.
Interesting. It has taken me a long time to get to the point of being happy to risk failure. But I think, like you say, it is a vital part of the process.
Inspired!! So glad I found you :-) So excited to continue following your journey!
Why thank you, I’m really glad you’re with me :-)
And well done! (not the pie …)
Thank you (and the pie was lovely)!
You’re an inspiration! (I wonder how many of us arty types have pink fluffy dressing gowns?)
You too?! The world needs more pink fluffy dressing gowns…
There’s nothing like a 30 Day Challenge to bring out hidden creativity – I know! I will bookmark your blog and keep checking it to see how you’re getting on :) Good luck!
Thanks Nina, good to meet a fellow 30 Day Challenger!
Brilliant post, and it takes courage to post your creative ideas out their as you do. I recently did a small blog post but not half as in-depth as yours, so congrats and look forward to seeing more a lot more……
Thanks pie man :-)