100 days of blogging…over

So around 2 months ago I started with this idea of blogging for 100 days continuously, I knew it would be a challenge, however I had forgotten, that as an introvert – how much energy gets zapped from being out and busy. I don’t just retreat into my home away from people, but I can also find myself retreating from all things social including social media / my computer in general. So after 4 solid days of gigs and blogging I struggled to stay on track, found myself with several days backlog and then at some point… I just stopped.

I had family to visit and had planned a post on the fun, free, child friendly activities we did in Oxford ~ but the motivation wasn’t there. So knocking this on the head and realising that everyday-rain-or-shine goals don’t work for me. I still have plans to get back into the swing of regular blogging and writing, without unrealistic targets.

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Here’s a photo from our fun family day out which included walking around the community gardens in our local park, it really feels like you’re in the middle of a forest away from everyone, it was lovely weather and everyone enjoyed running around and kicking up leaves.

So my final challenge I’m working on for 2019, is a 40 in 40 list. Taking my inspiration from the site, Day Zero project, this is a special limited 40 goals to do in the year I turn 40 (if it was 40 before 40 I’d only have 6 months to do them all and even thinking of things for the list is taking its time! This way I double my time and can spend more time planning and executing, rather than coming up with pithy little goals to check the box.

Have you ever taken part in a day zero list? Got any suggestions for me?

 

Blog Challenge: Location Independence

Day 9 of the 10 day challenge, it’s nearly over and this challenge is possibly tortuous. Imagine you’re on a long holiday in your dream destination and describe how you’d get your work done. First of all, making me day dream of somewhere fantastic by the sea that’s warm, but not too hot, quiet, and surrounded by compelling scenery is quite possibly one of the meanest things you could do on what must be the wettest day here in Oxford for over 2 months. A lovely, wet, soggy reminder that Autumn is well on the way (a total contrast to the scorchio end of last week where it still felt like mid-August!).

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I’m going to transport myself back to the picturesque town of Cavtat in Croatia where I spent two glorious weeks this summer. However for my dream blog post I’ll do things a little different. If I was here to work as well as play, I’d wake early and head out to capture some landscape shots during golden hour, and some town shots whilst the streets are mostly empty. Then I’d have breakfast on our apartment balcony whilst catching up with the news. After breakfast I’d plan some easy going trips as you don’t want to be too much in the midday sun – air conditioned art galleries can be the perfect place to visit when it’s hot outside. Late afternoon I’d likely chill out by the pool catching up on some reading. After dinner there’d be more photo opportunities as the sun sets then evening is when I’d start working on some images on the computer.

I suppose the point this post has hammered home, is the need to plan your day effectively to maximise what you want to get out of it, which I have been doing since starting this challenge. And by keeping my MIA’s to 3 (most important actions) tops, I’ve found that I actually achieve my goals for the day, rather than going to bed stressed because I’ve only done 4 things out of 10 for example (because I’ve chosen unrealistically).

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Blog Challenge: Beating Procrastination And Overwhelm

Day 7, and I’m already feeling the pressure of remembering to post. Today’s challenge is to think of an imperfect action you could do everyday and how it would feel to do it everyday for 30 days. The very obvious option would be to blog everyday, there was a time in my life a few years ago, where I would get up early and write something on my blog every morning before work – whether I hit publish or not. It was a good habit to have because I started the day thinking about my creative side, it’s something I could definitely do again, so that would be a good personal challenge – because I know I have been very guilty of the charges of not posting something because it wasn’t ‘perfect’.

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The only problem with that, was that I would procrastinate so long, the moment would pass – blogging about an exhibition for example that I would be so excited about, I wanted to tell other people to go visit, except it would be over before I’d posted the final draft. I could also think of several other things though, such as photo-editing or working on my website. So I think I’ve decided that my personal challenge I’m going to take away from this exercise is to do 1 creative thing everyday, no matter how small. So if I only have 10  minutes to spare, that’s enough time to whip up a quick blog post, or process a photo or two in Lightroom.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Blog Challenge: Setting Yourself Up For Success

Day 5 of the challenge looks something like this: Create a daily success plan for yourself that takes only 15-20 minutes and schedule a time in the day where you can squeeze it in. Write a blog post about what you will do, when you will do it, and how it will get you closer to your dreams.

However upon reading several other entries it seems that we are supposed to deploy the pomodoro technique which I am familiar with, and involves working in 25 minute spurts,but this snippet of information passed over my head. So I’m going to try and plan Saturday to be productive – with 3 most important actions which are:

  1. Work on my website (get the pages added, and some content)
  2. Cut out the final layer stencil for my screen print
  3. Get some reading done (2-3 chapters)

I have existing appointments Saturday morning, so I usually get home around 11:15am, where I will crack on with making some brunch and my favourite coffee.

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Mondrian Cake, San Francisco MOMA

12pm work on my website – based on previous experience, I’m going to allocate 3 hours to this activity, so that’s 6 pomodoros (counting the 5 minute breaks inbetween)

3pm go for a walk/run provided its not raining

4:30pm stencil cutting – fun job but one I’ve been postponing for a few weeks

5pm make dinner

7pm reading 2-3 chapters, this one may not seem important to most, but I feel I’ve let my reading slip a lot over the last 6 weeks. Including books that are important to/inform/influence my artistic practice

I guess I’ll add a mini update Saturday night on whether this worked for me or not

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

 

Blog Challenge: Discovering your WHY

Day 2 of this blog challenge was a bit more difficult to respond to, as the question is why you want to live the freedom lifestyle, ie the lifestyle mentioned in yesterday’s post. I always stumble when asked why I take photographs, partly because I’ve had people ask me incredulously  (and sometimes aggressively) ‘what are you photographing that for?’ because they don’t see the beauty or interesting nuances of what you’re photographing the thing you are (mind you, the situation that springs to mind most of all was way before facebook and selfies and instagram took off). Or the other situation is that it can feel incredibly clichéd to say, that I find certain things beautiful and want to share them with other people, or evoke a certain feeling in people when they look at your art. But it’s true, much I guess the same reasons that people feel the need to write stories, or even blog posts, because they want to share something and hope that other people have a response.

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Hall of Taste at the House of Bols, Amsterdam.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photos I’ve taken in recent years, in the Bols Museum. Seeing the inside of this museum on the internet was one of the reasons that Amsterdam moved up my travel list, and I was not left disappointed.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

Blog Challenge: Finding Your Focus

It’s been a while since I partook in a daily blogging challenge, but as we head into Autumn, full of rainy days where sitting in front of the computer doesn’t feel like you’re wasting time it felt like a good a time as any.

This challenge is not just about getting you writing/blogging regularly though, it’s about working towards and overcoming the challenges to leading the lifestyle you want. So for me, that is working towards making a successful business out of my art and photography.

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Autumn in the Czech Republic

My 3 challenges I face are all interlinked, basically I worry about not having enough time to do anything (Natalie mentions in her post about that foible), but then waste time by worrying about it. I also am a superb procrastinator and get easily distracted: technically I have around 4 hours every evening to get my stuff done (that’s based on having dinner and being washed up by 6pm, and a conservative bedtime of 10pm) and yet still I have a to do list as long as my arm! I can nip on social media to check something and lose hours following links to articles that really in the grand scheme of things, are not important and don’t help me progress. I could also throw in that I have too many activities/hobbies, but I feel like curbing my creative endeavours to save a few hours a week would actually be detrimental.

The most ridiculous thing is that I know I should prioritise my evenings as well as I do in my day job, but it never quite works out like that… or maybe that’s about to change.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1