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Happy 1st Birthday!

Here we are, one year on - my blog is officially 365 days old. And what a year it's been!

In celebration of a year's worth of writing and sharing stories with you, my lovely readers, I thought I would write about the highlights of this journey, and where it is heading.

But let's start at the beginning. The reason I am here writing is simply because I decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I put aside expectations and perceptions, quietened the 'shoulds' and the resounding 'but I'm not good enough' of my inner critic. I have shared this in other posts, but it was the combination of really listening to my gut, my heart, and my head, listening to the truth in me, that helped me to see that writing was the path I had been following, albeit on a parallel road. That road sometimes took me near or even onto the path, at other times it veered far away from my love of the written word, so much so, it became a distant line on the horizon.

In fact, it was through a friend and coach of mine, Kelly Farr of Your North, that I fully allowed myself to follow my true north and step onto the writing path - no side roads needed. When she asked me to write down what it is I love about writing, I realised that the way forward was in being brave enough to share my words with others.

So, here I am, a year after starting this blog. Writing sometimes weekly, sometimes fortnightly. Reaching outside of my comfort zone and allowing myself to be seen. It's not always been easy, but it has always been joyful. There are many things I have loved about following my dream. I'll share a few below and maybe they will inspire and encourage you to step out, onto the path you've been wanting to walk on.

Pure Joy

This is where it starts, this is where it's always at. It has to be about joy for me - not accolades, achievements, numbers, praise or recognition. Not stress or pressure, expectations, or outcomes. These things were drivers for me before, especially in my career, I had used these to find value in myself, my worth and meaning were found in how 'seen' I was and how hard I worked. Did these things get me anywhere? - yes, higher up the career ladder for sure, but also to a place of burn out and anxiety. Are these things inherently wrong? - no, they can result in someone who is hard working, diligent and responsible. But. When these are the source of your belonging, value and worth, they can become tyrannical masters who chain you up, rather than set you free.

Inspired to Inspire

I love finding out about things - stuff, trivia, facts, science, art, music, culture - the list of things that inspire me is endless. But more than anything else, I love stories. I share a lot of my stories on here, from my childhood, experiences of life or insights into my world. I do not do this to brag or hold up my life as anything particularly special, but as a way of not only remembering and recording for myself, but in the hope that others will connect with something familiar, or it will strike a chord with someone else's life. My hope is in reflecting on my life and the stories it is made up of, I will inspire others to do the same.

Finding My Edge

It is a challenge to write about something new each week. It is sometimes difficult to follow through on the weekly task of meeting a deadline. It is also brilliant to find the edge of my comfort zone, and step outside it. This blog has been all these things. It has taught me to be persistent in my writing, to treat it with respect and show up here as regularly and consistently as I can. My imagination and creative capacity have been stretched, to search for ideas, reach out on social media and find the threads of a story - even when on a Sunday evening I am stuck and not sure where the blog will take me. These challenges are shaping and refining my craft, they are smoothing out the kinks and increasing my courage each time I press publish.

The Magic

One of the things I have loved most about the whole writing process this year, has been following the glimmer of an idea and seeing where it takes me as I write. I often have a broad overview of what I will write about, but as I type, the story or purpose of the topic can go to unexpected places. I have in the past started writing about one thing, only to end up writing about something completely different! When joy is at the heart of what I do, I am happy to let the words go where they need to.

The Bigger Picture

So where are the words taking me now? What's ahead on the writing path? Well, since starting this blog, I've found the confidence and a gem of an idea to begin writing my first book. It is a non-fiction book called Upward: The Power of Looking Up and it shares stories and insights on the importance and need for us all to look up, both physically and metaphorically. I have interviewed incredible people and started to shape each chapter around the themes of nature, being, creativity and community. It is a journey in and of itself. This book is shaping me, as I am shaping each paragraph.

Sharing is Caring

Over the next few posts, I plan to share the stories from my book and the process of what it is like to be a first-time author. I feel so passionately about the idea of looking up and the people I have met and spoken to about this, that I'd like to introduce them here. I'd love to give you a glimpse of how changing our perspective, has the potential to change our world. So, I hope you will join me and be a part of this new adventure. I look forward to writing for the next 365 days, posting here and sending my words out into the world. Here's to another year of joy!

Image via Unsplash

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