It’s late, I’ve just got in from seeing one creative friend perform at one of the greatest venues in Manchester and giving another creative friend a pep talk that I could probably do with giving myself. I have a lot to say.
First of all, I’ve been slack. And I really don’t know if that’s the right word because I have been working, I’ve just not been producing… very much. While I allowed myself a settling-in period with this move, there really has been so much change, so many little challenges and then most recently, a bout of tonsillitis that knocked me sideways (quite literally, I spent a full 72 hours on the sofa with my tonsils stuck together, alternating between ice cream and soup) that the “settling-in period” has been less smooth and a little more elongated than I expected. And I’m happy as Larry, happier than I’ve been in a very long time. But at the same time, I feel like a failure.
While I could sit here and blame my lack of a regular photographer (a challenge I’m very much tackling head on not being able to produce daily content), it’s an excuse; a logistical excuse I’m happy to use whenever someone asks how work is since I’ve moved North, rather than share the turmoil I’m really feeling and leave them either awkwardly speechless or wanting to run away. I’m just so confused. I want so much change in my work and I want it all at once. I want to re-design my website, I want to experiment with new styles of photography and film, I want to write freely like I used to, without overthinking or self-criticising to the point where the draft ends up in the bin (and then I produce nothing, again). I want to be creating daily content for Instagram, both spur-of-the-moment (some of my favourite outfit snaps are spontaneous) and pre-planned, as well as creating beautiful, editorial-style imagery for my blog, to accompany regular posts. It seems whiny I know but I look at my content online and I don’t feel proud. It’s mediocre. I can confidently say that right now, I’ve lost my way with it all.
And worse, I've lost my confidence.
Do I want a colour thematic Instagram feed so that all my images are identifiable and my following grows tenfold? Or do I want to continue to post a mixture of spontaneous iPhone snaps and project shoot images, accepting that my feed can never look visually cohesive? While these questions might seem trivial to you, they very much decide whether or not I have a good month or a bad month. They decide whether or not I can comfortably pay my rent, bills and feed my Deliveroo addiction (pun not intended). And sometimes, between you and I, it all just gets a bit much. I become too overwhelmed and then choose to ignore it, focusing instead on admin or finances or any other menial behind-the-scenes task that ensures I’m doing something when my creative brain is frazzled/sad/retired for the foreseeable future. So then I’m in a rut. And it’s bloody hard to climb out again.
My struggle for a long time has been prioritising the wrong platform. I’ve put so much time, effort, money and focus into Instagram this year because with changes in the industry, that has often been my main source of income – and I know it’s been the same for many others too. There have been months when I haven’t published a single blog post. And I’ve written them. So many. But either I haven’t had any images in my content bank to accompany them (I’m very picky, I like to have the “right” set of images for a particular post) or because of the content - whether it’s too emotional or too controversial or maybe I just don’t believe anyone will even care what I think/feel - I talk myself out of sharing it. Isn’t that sad? And a bit pathetic? That’s what this space is for, no?
There really is no direction to this post at all, just a general spilling of thoughts onto a page, letting you know what’s going on inside my head. I feel restless for change and restless in the lack of my own productivity.
I fly to New York on Saturday morning and it’s a trip that really couldn’t have come at a better time. I have so much content planned, so many amazing outfits to put together over those 8 days and I know in my heart it will be the time away from my desk that I very much need to find inspiration again, to ignite my rhythm. It’s my favourite city in the whole world, my heart feels so full whenever I visit and I always leave with a little more of its magic.
New York, I’m coming for you. And I need you now more than ever.
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