Whoa, 2015 and Hello, 2016!
What a year. My son Sebastian was born in February and is almost one, Sophie is on her way to turning four in just a few months, and Gene and I are set to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. These are the good old days, for sure.
My creative career still feels very much in its toddler-phase as I near my 2-year anniversary of the launch of my first collection. To keep the metaphor going, I feel as though I'm beginning to find my footing.
Here are some things I'm thinking about as I reflect on the past year in business as a designer and a freelance writer:
Looking Back: 2015 Highlights
Pitching and landing paid freelance work.
2015 marks the first year that I was paid to write an article. I still cannot believe that I am getting compensated to do something I love to do. This has been a lifelong dream that for some reason I never thought I would achieve.
Experimenting, scrapping, iterating.
I experimented with a side project for creative entrepreneurs in 2015. (Thank you if you were following along with these additional posts and newsletters!) While I enjoyed the process and loved chatting with some of my readers who engaged with these emails, it was far too time-consuming to curate a weekly reading list. Moving forward, I'm excited to say that I will be sharing monthly letters friends who write, make things, or want to. I'd love it if you would join me.
Creating my first digital pattern.
In a few weeks, look out for my very first pattern template, The Hudson Mailbag. I've been working on this original design, material sourcing, and pattern development of a child's mailbag for pretend post office play for a few months now and I am excited to share it later this month. (Update: Access your free pattern of this project right here.)
Expanding my knowledge and skills with online education.
Craft Industry Alliance is an online professional organization for makers, artisans, crafters, and artists that is run by two talented and established writers and business owners in the craft industry, Abby Glassenberg and Kristen Link. I am thrilled to have joined this at its launch and to have access to the community forums, resources, and the well written and conceived articles in their biweekly journal. You can check it out here. (Update: I contributed to Issue #8 of the CIA Journal. Members can access the article here.)
I also joined Skillshare in 2015. I've taken Seth Godin's marketing course, a course on how to pitch to editors, and am currently enrolled in another workshop on how to write a children's book.
Looking Ahead: Intentions for 2016
Going deep, and not wide, on the blog.
My tech cleanse during the holiday season in 2015 created the space I needed to think about my creative career. I'm stepping it up with the blog this year and making a big push to highlight stories, content, and ideas both on the journal and in guest posts elsewhere. You'll continue to find behind-the-scenes posts like this one you're reading now, along with posts on DIY projects that you can do with your kids and for your kids, children's book reviews, and lifestyle posts that embrace a less-is-more, dare I say minimalist, philosophy to living (and loving your life) with kids.
Designing and launching new products.
This is the year I'll turn the digital corner with my first digital product listing. I've been working on a felt advent calendar (with a cheeky twist) since November. Here's to getting this up in the shop by the end of the first quarter this year. I think I can, I think can.
Writing and illustrating a children's book.
Stating this goal makes me feel a little funny which means I'm onto something, right? I have a few stories scratched out and even some storyboards. To be frank, I'm not sure if this is the year that I'll explore the world of children's book publishing. It's a possibly/maybe/some-day goal and I am going out on a limb by putting it out there for 2016. Limbs are good.
Continuing to take on more freelance writing work.
More. That's all. Keep pitching. Stay cool with the rejections. Stay cool with the signed and sealed contracts. Get a few more under my belt, maybe even a byline in an analog journal.
Approaching online education with a minimalist mindset.
I get overwhelmed with all the things. I have to be here, in this Facebook group and maybe I should sign up for this online course, I wonder? My social media sabbatical over the holidays has done wonders to keep me focused, thoughtful, and intentional in my approach to, well, surfing the web endlessly. Looking ahead to 2016, I'm looking to these writers, business owners, and educators in an effort to keep it simple: Meighan O'Toole, Abby Glassenberg, and Paul Jarvis. By the way, all write terrific weekly newsletters.
Here's to another great year with all of you.
I am truly so grateful for your interest, support, and curiosity in my business and creative work. Thank you!
Photo via Unsplash.