Ever felt like you wobbled through your year in a pair of turbo charged rollerskates on a bmx track, being cheered on by friends and then arriving at the finish line to think..woah, I did that! I made it.
This year there have been days when I’ve felt like I’m turning into my Greek mother-in-law…making a healthy meal of spanakoriso for dinner and getting a whole lot done like a yiayia possessed ….and other days when I’ve been so exhausted I’ve served up sandwiches for dinner, put the three boys to bed without a bath, feeling totally perplexed that the cleaning fairy didn’t come to sort out the crazy avalanche of clothes waiting to be folded and sorted. (Thanks Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids for constantly reminding me this is totally FINE!)
Laughter and support from my kind of crazy
We all need a bit of encouragement, a gentle nudge in the right direction and a reminder about the things that matter. The support and friendship of good people has made all the difference.
I’m grateful for the company of some wonderful and fun women who have kept me motivated, grounded and focused this year. People like: Justine Bloome from the Village Agency @inbloome , Yvonne Adele @yvonne_adele, Richenda Vermuelen from Ntegrity @richendag, the amazing Gina Milicia @ginamilicia, Laney Galligan of Agents of Influence @laneygalligan, Karen Andrews from @miscmum and my good friend and mentor Ellen Naismith. They have helped to remind me to pace myself, make time for ‘me’, have fun and dream big.
My boss Darren Rowse @problogger is as much a friend as he is a client and I’m always learning about marketing and business growth from Shayne Tilley @shaynet. We meet up once a week with @lukie for production meetings in a home office. When we invite new staff my instructions include to look for the door ‘just past the cubby (clubhouse)…to the left of the trampoline. Sometimes I take cake. They politely eat it :)
This year I have produced a few more ebooks for Digital Photography School.I love, love, love that I get to work on products that help people to be more creative and see dreams come true. It’s much more satisfying than working on a product for a client who only wants to pimp their ego and bank account!
This year we launched five large ebooks over at dPS with some wonderful authors :
- Portraits: Making the Shot by Gina Milicia
- Portraits Lighting The Shot by Gina Milicia
- Living Landscapes by Todd and Sarah Sisson
- Photo Magic by Neil Creek
- Photo Nuts and Gear by Neil Creek
As usual, all of the ebooks were designed by the talented Naomi Creek. My role is to manage the production of ebooks, from selection and planning to project management, liaising with our authors, designer, editors, marketing team and staying up late for our ebook launch (I still get butterflies in my stomach each time we launch.)
Over at dPS’s sister site SnapnGuides I also produced some mini guides to help people with their cute pet pics and delicious food photography.
Yum yum! Woof woof!
This year I managed the production of our first dPs face to face workshop with Gina Milicia, and our first ProBlogger email marketing workshop with Shayne Tilley. It was great to try something new and have a couple of smaller events in Melbourne.
Our annual event for bloggers PBEVENT grew again, from 100 attendees in 2010 to close to 450 this year. We headed up to tropical Queensland to the wonderful QT Hotel Gold Coast. I loved the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees which makes all the difference to putting on an event like this. My role each year is to direct the event with the support of Nicole Avery @planningqueen who curates all of the content and speakers, and our fantastic team of staff and volunteers.
(Photo courtesy of QT. L-R Kobi Facto of QT, Laney Galligan PBevent partnership manager, Cheryl Lin PBevent room producer, Shayne Tilley Marketing Ninja and PBevent speaker, me!, Trevor Young PR Warrior and PBevent speaker, Bernadette Jiwa PBevent speaker, Darren Rowse PBevent founder, and Carolyn Schmidt the super organised QT event coordinator.)
I have to give a massive shout out to Liz Pulo for being such a dedicated team member this year too. She helped to keep us organised!
It’s funny, for years (and years) I felt like I was missing out on some of the best conference because my kids were little, I couldn’t get funding, and it seemed too difficult to go anywhere. But last year I headed to NYC for the first time ever to BlogHer (*thanks boss!) and this year I was whisked off on a whirlwind trip to Portland, Oregon, for the World Domination Summit in July. What an extraordinary event. Inspiring! I didn’t speak at the event but I cheered @problogger on as he donned a Superman outfit in front of 3000 people, and I got to meet some of my own creative superheroes and even a friend from my IBM days.
What does a girl do when she’s got a lot on her plate? Do more! (I know, silly, but this has been my favourite thing to do in my spare time this year.) Yes, this year I launched a tiny letter about getting your creative mojo back. The response to these emails has been overwhelming from people who have started creative projects as a result. I’ve had some wonderful guest contributors submitting quotes for these letters including Chris Brogan, Clare Bowditch, Jeff Goins and Torre de Roche. Next year I’d like to put a little ebook together for you based on these notes to bring creativity to life. Make sure you subscribe to these tiny letters to keep in touch.
It’s nice when you can work with a friend to help them get their idea over the line. This year I was able to help Ellen Naismith with some planning advice, to get her first Novella out as an ebook. You can get a free copy by signing up at bit.ly/wandererPDF
I had fun being involved in Frocktober again this year, dressing up each day to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Research (thanks to your generosity I raised over $1,300.) While I haven’t been a blog ambassador for World Vision Australia this year, as alumni I have been happy to promote their good work where I can. (Note to self…buy some of their gifts for Christmas this year.) We had Samuel Johnson of the Love Your Sister campaign join us at PBevent. He is cycling around Australia to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness..so far raising over a million dollars!!
It’s been great to invest in a couple of creative projects too…and in about a week I’ll get to see the outcome of Superawesomemicroproject
Meanwhile I’ve been trying to keep a sense of normality at home! This year our sons turned 7, 9 and 11 and I made a point of giving them low-key birthday parties, no frills. Best. Thing. Ever. We took a year off most extra curricular activities, instead deciding it was important to just spend time together instead of rushing around from one class to another. Yes they keep me busy. Yes they fight sometimes. But they are such wonderful kids. Next year we will probably get back onto the activity treadmill – in small doses- as I think it’s important for kids to just be kids. You know…having fun and stuff.
My husband has been the bees knees, always making me laugh, picking up the random loaf of bread on the way home and taking time off work to be with the kids when I’ve been interstate or overseas.
This year has been all about making sure I bring creativity to life. Doing this keeps me energised. Life Drawing group has been a good activity to keep my creative focus intact, writing Creative Notes has been a good writing discipline and I’ve tried to be creative in even the smallest things..like making fresh food or bringing some flowers in from the garden to make a (okay, maybe haphazard) centrepiece. Although I tried to knit, I only proved how uncoordinated my motor skills are. I’m making more time to reflect, read, walk and think about finishing projects, rather than joining in another meme.
So that’s it, my wobbly year on rollerskates. Next year I hope I can give more, be more organised, complete more projects and bring creativity to life in new and better ways. As for now, my washing machine, car and computer are all deciding to give up the ghost. I’m quite ready to put up the Christmas tree, make a wish-list and unwind for a couple of weeks, rollerskates firmly hung up and put away. At least until next year :)