In My Life
I started October off sick, and the entire month was an uphill battle. I made it, and last week was so, so, so much better than the three before, but I’m not out of the woods yet… and I haven’t listened to Taylor Swift’s 1989 yet, either. Coincidence? Actually, I think not. Which says things about me that I don’t want to get into. It’s just that I got the lease on this flat the day after Shake It Off came out and I’ve been an irrational mess over this album ever since. With the occasional break to just be excited for new Taylor Swift music.
So, October. I can’t remember much of what I did, to be truthful, which is one of the reasons I’ve decided to use the peer pressure of NaNoWriMo to motivate myself to journal every day, and list the stuff I did. Maybe what I ate, too, because I spend way too much money on chocolate and it makes me sad. I used to have a modicum of self-control, and fewer acne breakouts. I also know I’ll feel it if I don’t start eating more fruit soon. I coast on broccoli for greens, and that’s probably not enough. Plus, I like fruit. I’m just… lazy about peeling it…
Anyway, journaling before I do anything else is great — it grounds me a bit and that’s really helpful for starting the day off on the right foot. I’ve also picked up two Instagram daily challenges because another thing I completely disregarded in October was taking pictures of shit. Sure, my backlog’s got smaller, but it should get smaller because I’m editing things, not because I’m not picking up my camera. Besides, in the span of time I just spent editing a picture to go with this post, I realized a) I hadn’t taken any since October 5, when I was sick; and b) I love photography. Like, I enjoy it with a passion I only get occasional glimpses of in design or blogging when I either make unexpected money or a project I’m working on is just my style, like the media kit I designed this weekend. And even then, it’s just not the same.
Work-wise, I wrote a couple of articles and designed an infographic, which wasn’t completely new to me because I’ve done similar things for media kits, but it was my first actual infographic. I’ve got a lead on another writing gig, so fingers crossed I can get that going, and start writing properly weekly for Photodoto (that one’s on me).
I edited a whole modeled product shoot for Pixiebell and added a product photography listing to my Etsy shop. I designed two media kits (and a cover on Friday night, but didn’t finish the draft till Saturday), a set of ad banners, a product tag, a set of labels; started on another set, fixed up three logos, and started redesigning the design shop.
I made a mockup of my blog redesign as well; it’s currently under development by the same person who moved me to www.lixhewett.com. I trust me, but I trust other people more. I also trust other people’s wifi more than mine, to be honest.
At some point I received the shop I won with AmeriCommerce, and I learned my way around the dashboard, more or less, but I haven’t done a lot of work on it because I don’t feel in control. Last week I decided to submit a ‘go live’ ticket so they’d move it to my subdomain before I started uploading my products; I was told it was a 3-5 day waitlist for this, not weeks like I usually get between asking for something to be changed in my design and getting a response (if at all), but… I’m still waiting. And I feel bad for talking about this openly because I won a giveaway, I’m not paying for this, I’m obviously not their top priority, and actually the last time any of the people originally assigned to me replied to my questions was when I tweeted about how freaked out I was that they weren’t being communicative.
But all I want is my move. I don’t even want the menus fixed — Leila (my developer friend) is helping me out with that, too. Just give me this one thing and I’ll leave you alone, and possibly renew my subscription to your software next year with actual money! Is it that much to ask when the bulk of their work’s already been done? The thing is, if I have to put together a quick design portfolio and a photography portfolio, I’ll do it. I know WordPress better anyway. I can eventually develop a WooCommerce shop for myself, and divide my services between personal invoices and contracts, and Etsy. But so much work and time went into the AmeriCommerce shop that it would be criminal not to use it.
Regardless, I need a portfolio, and I need it yesterday, so I’m giving them three days and then I’m just moving on. I told myself I’d have this stuff up on my birthday, and that’s next Saturday, so there’s really no time to lose here.
(The bright side to my experience with AmeriCommerce is that I’ve become a lot more responsible as a designer myself. Now I know what it’s like to wait without knowing when something’s going to get done, and wow, I do not want my clients to feel that kind of uncertainty. And I understand the impatience better than before.)
Ultimately, October was odd because I was off — I had a number of meltdowns over money and there were a lot of days where it took all of my energy to hold myself together. I don’t think I got to central London, or in fact anywhere outside a 20-minute walking-distance ratio of my flat, all month. I didn’t shoot and I didn’t model. I had some leads, but my sleep schedule was — is — shot and like I said, I was so depressed I couldn’t see myself actually following through on any plans that involved other people. And I sure as hell couldn’t afford transport — there was a weekend I could barely eat.
But I also edged closer to stability, in ways I didn’t expect — one weekend I was so stressed out, my anxiety seemed to act as its own antidepressant, and I went through the motions for that entire weekend and managed to make Monday’s rent and make it to Tuesday, when things got a little better. I read not one but two fiction books, and I spent a little bit more time in Safari, where I’m logged into my fandom spaces and my personal twitter. I didn’t watch anything, despite thinking about it, but I made myself grilled cheese, twice, and I engaged with people about the yuletide fanfic exchange, even if I didn’t end up signing up for it. I’m still participating, in my own way — even if my own way ends up being popping into the community posts and the IRC chat every now and again.
Anyway, October sure was a Month, but it ended on a high note, so I’m hoping November picks that up and runs with it.
ON THE BLOG
- PORTFOLIO: Portrait & Fashion Shoot With Leigh Travers
- TUTORIAL: Shooting In Manual Mode: The Starter Kit (on Photodoto)
- TUTORIAL: Essential Photography Business Kit: Five Things To Keep Handy (on Photodoto)
- PHOTOGRAPHY: A Walk Around Crouch End
- PHOTOGRAPHY + TRAVEL: Areas Where I’ve Lived (And What I Made of Each)
- PERSONAL: Expat Diaries: Six Months In London
- OUTFIT: Sportsy Neons
- OUTFIT: New haircut + glasses
- OUTFIT: Halloween: Little Witch Costume
- WISHLIST: Autumn Wishlist with LoveSales
- WISHLIST: Capsule Wardrobe Wishlist with Avenue 32
- HOME: Dream Kitchens with MyAppliances.co.uk
- HOME: Home Offices & Workspaces
- REVIEW / BOOK: The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
- REVIEW / PRINTING SERVICE: A Look At The Past Six Months With Printrbook
- REVIEW / PRINTING SERVICE: Temporary Vistaprint Business Cards
- ESSAY: On Misogyny, Harassment and Coercion In the Creative Industry
- PERSONAL / VLOG: What’s In My Bag Tag
- PERSONAL / DIARIES: Weekly Wishes, The Backlog Plan (10/06)
- PERSONAL / DIARIES: Weekly Wishes, Not Falling Under (10/20)
See you tomorrow to set some goals for November, and remember I’m still offering sponsor spots on a pay-what-you-can basis! PS: Next Saturday is my birthday. ;)