It’s almost the middle of the day and today I am really confronted with some big questions. This week and the next are dedicated to documentation and catching up with things and as everything is slower and quieter, as I have options over what to do with my time, questions about what I actually want to do with it crop up.
Here are some of the themes dancing around my head this morning:
Planning for how long?
I have in front of me the possibility of working on a year-long project that would take at least half my working time to start with, with more hours during the last few months. I have no idea as yet how much it pays and my head is full of questions about whether I want to commit myself to something for that long, whether this fits with what I find necessary, important. Whether it leaves me enough time for the other things which I know I need to be doing. On the other hand, a year long project brings a basic income I can plan things around and which would mean I will know that I can do things a few months down the line albeit not knowing whether I will actually have the time to do them.
How do I document my work better?
I’m a writer who is obsessed with getting the essence across effectively and meaningfully. How do I do that for myself? How do I document my projects better? How do I showcase what I do in a way that represents me well and attracts more of the type of things I am interested and intrigued by? I’m frustrated with my current portfolio and would love to find ways of speaking about what I do in better ways and really getting who I am across to readers who happen to land there.
And the big one:
What is my next step in really intertwining who I am and what I do?
Freelancing is for me a way of being flexible enough to follow my own curiosity, rhythm, gut instinct. Within that I still regularly get lost in my own mind’s cries to go for what I know will pay me well now, to make each hour of work pay, to stick within what I know is relatively straightforward to monetise. Yet I’m clearly both a generalist and a person who is intrigued with the intersections of things. I live between many bubbles, I love spending time with a wide variety of people doing very diverse things and lights fire up in me when I can make links between them, ways of borrowing something from one to use in another, ways of translating the languages of each to show that what might appear as chalk and cheese actually shares a similar milky colour, a crumbly texture and significant amounts of Calcium. As I allow myself more freedom to explore my own possibilities (going to Brazil for 6 months and taking myself out of my self-inflicted boundaries had wonderful effects), I’m becoming better at finding opportunities at these intersections. Yet it’s the quiet work of days when I manage to silence my brain chatter long enough to get pulled into things by my own curiosity. Days when I need to sit in the middle of uncertainty and find the peace that exists in not knowing. Days when I can give myself the time and space to search for the words inside myself and allow my own truth to surface. Days when I manage my own inputs and outputs so that they support rather than squash this truth-finding process. Days exactly like today.
Inputs I’m exploring today:
foam I had the pleasure of working with Maja and Nik on Tasting Tomorrow and I am very impressed by their amazing documentation (among many other things).
This great Creative Mornings talk by Rob Alderson about the magic that comes about when blurring the lines.
Photo credit: Nik Gaffney / foam during Tasting Tomorrow