It’s 2020, the nightmare year, the year of Zoom ‘Pub’ Quizzes and the year that everyone started complaining about my favourite way to work (remotely). It’s fine, it’s not for everyone.
I have written pretty extensively around my feelings of imposter syndrome and how over the past 4/5 years, my confidence and self belief has taken a bit of a battering. Today, I was delivering some stickers to a client that I’m fairly friendly with and she asked what my plans were for the day and I said that today was a writing work day and she replied, oh wow, I didn’t know that you’re a writer, what do you write?
And of course, how would she know that I’m a writer? I don’t promote actively myself and I get all weird and squirmy talking about things that I’m good at. We had a little conversation about how this year is the year that has knocked the wind and confidence out of so many of us, especially those of us drowning in the economic bleakness of covid.
This week, I have been working on my portfolio and my website, organising years of content to work out what best demonstrates my abilities and the services that I want to sell. Looking through it all, I was struck by how I have done some really good work, like so much good work. I’ve written everything from news articles to advertorials (sneaky magazine articles that are actually marketing) to plenty of white label content and website copy. Where has this heavy cloud of self-doubt come from? And why? Why has it descended upon me so heavily?
Although I began this piece talking about how much I love working remotely, that doesn’t necessarily mean at home! Scott and I have been renting an office space in a co-working space for about a year now, in name, it’s ours for our little baby, along came loni, but really it’s my workspace, we have kept it solely for me to work in. Scott and I have very different working styles and my work relies on working, competent internet (something that we don’t have at home). Our office space is roughly the length of one song’s walk from home and it’s very easy to just throw on active/lounge wear (as if they’re not the same thing) when I get up and wander out of the house when I’m ready.
However, this week I have been making more of an effort to get all-the-way dressed. Like, I have been wearing tights and boots. I’ve been going home and exercising, nothing too strenuous as my asthma is bad again, but I have been moving my body. You know, doing the good stuff that I know is good for my mental health, but always falls by the wayside when you get into a rut.
Scott currently starts work at 8am. This morning I had woken up before his alarm had gone off but I knew it wasn’t toooo long before the alarm and I could hear he was awake. Basically, I could hear his attempts to protect himself from a hungry Jellybean who was demanding food on his chest. But I kept my eyes firmly shut, I wasn’t ready for the world; until he asked: ‘are you awake?’ and I groaned. To which he replied: ‘I knew you were awake because you weren’t breathing’, my response was a vocalised version of this: ‘???????’ through laughter.
So, I guess we’re awake and I open my eyes and looked out the window to see two magpies perched on our aerial. I am incredibly magpie superstitious, so seeing two magpies at 7.25am this morning, gave me hope for the day. And what a day it has been. Please don’t misunderstand, I’ve not had this crazy amazing day, but my whole mentality for the day, and towards my work has been so much more positive than the last few months.
I have been so productive, I have gotten so much client work written and prepped for next week. I’ve sent out emails informing clients about rate increases for the new year, which is something that has been gnawing at me for a little while, the internal guilt-spiral of do I deserve more money? And today, I have decided the answer is yes.
Perhaps most importantly, I’ve had a new work request come in and I didn’t undersell myself. I didn’t ramble or vocally fidget, I just said: ‘I absolutely can do this for you, I have some time on Monday, this is how much it will cost, let me know if you’d like to go ahead.’
I feel like someone has come in and Marie Kondo’d my mind. They’ve opened all the cupboards and drawers, dumped it all onto the living room floor of my pschye and held each thought and said: this is trash. This does not bring you joy, it does not aid you in any way, these thoughts and fears can go. And I’m sure these thoughts will need to be decluttered and shaken down for joy again and again, but it’s a start.