After coming to the end, yesterday, of the longest freelance booking I've ever had (seven and a quarter years to be precise), I had a vague idea that I might blog every day for 30 days. Just to document, y'know, the end of an era and a major change of life. And because that's what a blogger/diarist/writer does.
It's a bit like being thrown off the merry-go-round – although not at full speed as this has been coming since February – but there is a very definite stop. And after such a long ride I'm not quite ready to get back on another carousel just yet.
In fact there are a few things that have been on hold since 2009, and since getting my notice I've spent the summer putting together some plans.
There's a list (isn't there always?) on Workflowy that is now up to at least a hundred items long. Some are obvious (oh how I have missed my travels); some enforced (time to get fit and undo some of the damage caused by my sedentary job); some are random challenges or things I want to learn (be a cool backwards skater, learn 2000 words of Indonesian); and some are about giving back (becoming a mentor, trainer, speaker, or perhaps just a better friend).
I also have the beginnings of a list of people I want to meet and talk to and listen to, and invitations to coffee/tea have started to go out. After years of solitary working from home, I'm looking forward to making new connections and getting out there again.
Many people have inspired me to go on this new journey: Sam Underwood, who gave a PechaKucha talk on his intended sabbatical a few years back; Pete, who has been on his own journey to full-time artist; my mum, who launched a new fundraising career in her 60s; Paul Murphy, the Belfast/Brum musician and activist, who died earlier this year after a life extremely well lived.
Then there's Helga Henry, Liz Dexter, Nora Young (Morley), John Popham, Justina Hart, Jackie Pieterick and Candi Miller for their inspiring work and projects; those unnamed people who've been through or are currently going through such hardships that it's amazing they even get up in the mornings; and close long-time friends who, even today, still managed to come up with a few new ideas that may have me volunteering to talk at schools about working in the media and how to be your own boss.
Basically I'm all ears. Who knows what may happen?
So, yeah, day one of blogging for myself and putting some stuff out there. There are many plans, this is one of them.