Tag Archives: creativity

Sing out for World Voice Day

Writing is a great love, and it’s a delight to be able to earn a living working with words. But singing…singing is pure passion.

Last Sunday I was privileged to spend the day singing the Bach B Minor Mass with Canterbury Cantata and Camerata. And we get to do it all again this weekend when, on the second part of our 2017 Bach journey, we sing Bach’s St John Passion.

This Sunday, as well as being Easter Sunday, is World Voice Day. No, I’d never heard of it either, but it exists to ‘share the excitement of the voice phenomenon with the public, scientists and funding bodies.’ Continue reading

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April 12, 2017 · 3:33 pm

Steps to success

Don’t you love to wonder at the lengths people will go to in their quest to create?

Thanks to the Colossal blog, I saw this today: Benjamin Von Wong’s underwater photography

Whilst I find the photographs, accurately described as surreal, incredibly beautiful, I’m just as fascinated by what went into creating them as I am in the final result.  The photographer, Benjamin Von Wong, talks about how he needed to enhance them to make best use of the natural light he relied on. But these are not photo montages. The models are free-divers, supported by a scuba team, and, well, read Colossal for more.

Ingredients for success

Watching his video,

I was struck by how he approaches assembling his team. Nothing new, but simply, eloquently put. Working with the right people. Not necessarily the most qualified, or even the most experienced, but the people who share his passion for what he’s trying to achieve. Working with people who are as passionate about success as you are, says Von Wong, you can’t fail.

Whilst I’m not envisaging anything as adventurous as that photoshoot (but, hey, if anyone’s planning a project on a beautiful island in the sun and needs a writer on the team, I’m there. Laptop? Check. Passport? Check. Toothbrush and bikini? I’m good to go.), that philosophy is very much in my mind as I consider my writing business.

Some of the main reasons for working for yourself have to be that you:

a)       want to do what you love doing, and are best at

b)       want the freedom to choose who you work with, and to pick the right people based on what you want to achieve. And then to achieve something together you hadn’t even imagined.

I work with some inspiring, talented, and intensely creative people in my current job (hey team, still reading?), but how many more are there out there to meet up with, and see what we can add to each other’s inspiration? I’m really excited about finding that out.

Von Wong’s 3 steps to success.

This is going straight on my pinboard:

  1. Do s**t that you love.
  2. Work with people who love the s**t that you do.
  3. Make good s**t.

What do you think? Are you doing s**t that you love? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve made/want to make the leap from employment to self-employment. How did you do it? Who are the people who you work with who love what you do? How did you find them?

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June 6, 2014 · 2:37 pm

Making space

If you’re anything like me, you have a wardrobe full of clothes (some of which you haven’t seen, let alone worn, for months. OK, years.) And there are utensils lurking in your kitchen cupboards that you’ve never used. It’s not the ‘how’, it’s the ‘why’?  What does it do? What does it make easier/quicker/more professional? Where did it come from?

It took me 12 years to realise the weight of all this paraphernalia. Stuff I thought I couldn’t do without. Mountains of it, filling a sizeable 3-bedroom house. Poor house. It wasn’t the house’s fault that I got so stuck there. The house was supposed to be the beginning – of a marriage, a family and a future. Instead the poor old place became a symbol of a dream cut short. Where life couldn’t be lived, because it would mean finally letting go. That’s an awful lot of ‘stuff’ to keep in a space, no matter how many square feet you’ve got.

Moving out was a wrench. It began with the realisation that the practical, financial burden of the place was keeping me trapped in a job that was making me miserable. Something needed to change.

I say ‘moving out was a wrench’. The funny thing is, though, that it wasn’t. Not really. The realisation hit me one day. That ‘stuff’ had to go, including the house. I had to make room for a life.

So I did. It took the average amount of time to actually do it – about 8 months from decision to move. Clearing out – getting rid of all those things that were weighing me down. It was amazing, even before The Day of The Move, how clearing out stuff from the loft made me feel happier. Lighter and less oppressed. I thought I’d cry when I closed the front door behind me for the last time. But I didn’t.

I’d like to claim that this was because I felt nothing but excitement for my new future. Actually, I knew I’d be back the following day to collect a cat who had decided she didn’t fancy moving today, thank you very much, and scarpered over the fence.

The move was made. The cat was retrieved. There are things I’ve kept, of course. Things of value – sentimental or monetary. Things of use, or of (to me) exceptional beauty. But virtually nothing that is neither. And I live in a space which is about the present and the future, not the past.

Letting go of the burdens of the past has opened up so many possibilities for the future. It has freed me to set out on a new journey – starting my own business doing something I love, and to be more creative in the way that I approach life. And an emptier wardrobe creates space for more shopping. I call that a win.

It would be lovely to hear from anyone else who’s found a way of letting go of the things that have stopped them exploring. Maybe we could send each other occasional postcards from life.

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