It’s something a lot of people dream about, moving to paradise islands like the Seychelles. But how many of them are prepared to do the work? To put in the effort to make that dream a reality? If you truly long for a change in lifestyle, you need to work towards your goal, not just hope you’ll win the lottery one day! It’s a big move, but if it’s what you want for your life, then the effort you put in to make your dreams come true will be well worth it.
So, I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for a little while now. This past week, I think its really dawned on me why.
This is the year of change. It’s time to starting thinking about what the next step will be for me.
I know it’s still a pretty long way off, but Freddie starts school in September. All of a sudden, I feel out of a job. Right from when Arthur was born I felt like being a Mum was my actual job. Obviously not a paid job….We’ve all seen the motivational messages about no payment, 24hours a day 7 days a week blah blah blah.
I think that largely came down to the fact that when we moved out here it was through Mark’s work. I didn’t feel like I was really had a role of my own. Then all of a sudden I had something super important to do, raising this teeny baby. No one ever made me feel that was the case, but it was just what was going on in my head!!
So fast forward four and a half years (yikes!) Arthur has now been in school for over a year and I know it will be a blink of an eye until Freddie is in there too.
I’ve always joked about how excited I am for the kids to be at school and I can spend my days as I please, as a lady of leisure.
But the truth is, I’m freaking out.
I now feel like it’s the time to do something for me, there’s no ‘excuse’ any more.
I would LOVE to be able to continue to expand with my writing.
But What Is The Next Step?
I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and I love it. Ive dabbled here in there in writing elsewhere. I contributed towards a book . I’ve written a bunch of articles for an amazing travel site called Culture Trip about all things Seychelles, and I’ve even written an article for British Airways about Romantic Travel in Seychelles
But honestly, I don’t know what it is I need to do to push it to that next step.
Obviously I’ll have more time in the day to dedicate to writing. So, I guess initially I need to spend more time on my blog and getting it out there. But, I’ve written before about not liking the ‘pressure’ of blogging and I still feel the same way. I’m not going to join things to get comments from people who are only writing so that I comment back on their posts, or anything like that!
Do I start approaching people asking if they’d want me to write for them? I’ve never been so great at anything like that!! Or is it better for things to just be little more organic like they have always been up to now? I feel like I’m so out of the world of work since we lived here that I just can’t focus or pin point any direction for myself!!
I didn’t really know what direction that blog post was going to go in when I started writing that! It kinda turned into a mini affirmation for myself. Sorry about that!!! I feel like I’m freaking out about the next step for myself more than I did when I left school and university, is that weird?
Of course, these two will still always be my job, and that’s the best even if they can be total monsters, wake up at crap o’clock in the morning and make mess like no one I’ve ever met!!
So, it has again been a little while!
I have finished my writing for Culture Trip, if you want to check out the posts I wrote for them you can view them here
If you missed that I was doing that writing, a little catch up. I was contacted by Culture Trip and asked if I would write articles about the Seychelles for them. The commission was to write 30 articles in month. This would mean me writing every day for a month, something I’d never done before.
I was delighted to take up the opportunity. I knew it was going to stretch me out of my comfort zone but I felt ready for the challenge.
They use WordPress which I already use for this blog and so I knew Id be comfortable with the technical side of the writing.
I thought Id share my experience of writing every day for a month, the ups and downs!
How did I feel writing every day for a month?
This is something I didn’t think Id have to write about but honestly I found doing this hugely emotional. Now looking back, I can see that it was really good for me, but at the time there were days when I found it so hard.
Getting real feedback on my writing was something I’d never really had before. Having it critiqued I found pretty tough at the time. After one article in particular I had a definite low point. I felt not good enough, like I had bitten off more than I could chew. After all I am not a ‘professional writer’ by trade, I don’t have any particular qualifications in it.
But then I had good days. Days where I sat and thought, actually, who says I’m not a professional writer? Ive been successfully blogging for 3 years and after all it was them who contacted me to write for them. I can do this!!
What were the biggest challenges?
There were certainly plenty of challenges for me writing every day for a month. Having a written commitment to something like this made me put a lot of pressure on myself.
I hadn’t expected to find challenges using WordPress, after all I use that already. There were some things I had to get used to though with certain requirements of the company both in writing style and procedures.
The thing I found the hardest was getting good quality pictures. Even with access to things like Flickr, Shutterstock and things like wiki images. As it was for a business all images had to be copyright free and that was the challenge.
The last week of the commission, Mark was in the UK for work. Honestly that week was terrible. But, I got through it. As soon as the boys were in bed every night I sat down at the computer and wrote for about 5 hours. It sucked, but I did it!
What did I learn?
I really did learn so much from this experience. Its only been a couple of weeks since Ive finished and I can already feel myself rose tinting it.
I learned that being a work at home mum is crazy! I pretty quickly realised that I was only really going to be able to get anything done while the boys were asleep. This meant that Monday to Friday while Arthur was at school I had two hours in the morning while Freddie napped. Then I had the evenings. Weekends were a bit more hodge podge in the day, grabbing time when I could.
Having a deadline was, despite the emotional rollercoaster, really good for my writing. I found that I could get so much done being under time pressure. I became organised and did very little procrastination – Something I am terrible for when writing my blog! Moving forward with any writing I do, I will certainly be putting deadlines on myself!
I really learned a lot about where I live!! Its easy to get a little complacent sometimes, but there was plenty I learned while writing these posts and it has definitely inspired me to get out and learn more.
Reaching out to big companies is not so scary! I was in touch with some really big name hotels and people who I would never normally have dreamed to have the confidence to speak to, and you know what? People were really receptive to speaking to me, interested in what I was writing about, and helping me with information, pictures etc. That was definitely a confidence boost.
I still have lots to say! I am definitely guilty at times of feeling like I’ve lost my voice. Blogging obviously does help that, but writing for someone else reminded me that I’m not just a Mum, that there is still someone who can work and get things done!! *I definitely don’t think being a Mum ever deserves the ‘just’ but its a weird thing I do where I decide thats what people think about me since I don’t work!
The night that I finished my writing, I called my Mum and Dad. It was around 10pm my time (6 in the UK) and I am not sure I have ever felt more proud of myself. I had a celebratory rum while chatting with them – I am an island girl after all, so it really did have to be rum! It was a seriously tough month but I got there!!