Student - Documentary Photography

The Simpson Sisters

Unicorns, Self Doubt & Finding My Niche

Unicorn smoothies were something of a mystery to me until last Friday, but learning what they were has been the very least of my discoveries in the past week. I had the great fortune of attending 'Blogtacular' in London at the weekend; for those not in the know Blogtacular describes itself as "the place for people whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire" and it most certainly fulfilled its promises to me. I spent 24 hours meeting people whom I have come to know a little online over the past year, being alternately overwhelmed and inspired by the incredible creative talent out there, amassing resources and ideas, and (I hope) making new friends to meet with again in real life. The event itself was a veritable feast of rainbow colours and personalities, the venue and food were extraordinarily good, and there were even enough toilets!

I was lucky enough to find a space in the three specific workshops I had highlighted as being the ones I wished to attend. The first on the foundations of marketing by the  very like-minded Kayte Ferris of Simple and Season, the second on finding your niche by the editor of creative magazine Mollie Makes Cath Dean whose content was excellent and whose lovely welsh accent I so enjoyed listening to, and the third presented by coach Sas Petherick who explored the relationship between creativity and self doubt.

Both the marketing workshops were immensely useful and reassured me that I am slowly heading in the right direction. I have lots to work on in terms of identifying just exactly who is interested in becoming part of the community I hope to build in my little corner of the world, but I feel more confident that they're out there and that by following Kayte's advice I will find them. Sas's thoughts on self doubt were fascinating and insightful. I am so frequently crippled by overwhelming self doubt and fear of judgement, too scared to share my thoughts and opinions, or sometimes even to acknowledge them. Her session made me ponder on the root causes and how I can manage my struggle to say no to people and my fear of being judged by others as unworthy, flakey and bereft of an expertise I feel I should have acquired by this stage in my life. I came away with the intention of embracing Sas's statement that "self doubt has absolutely nothing to do with your capability".

Monday saw me spending the day with photographer Sophie Carefull who patiently took about a million photos both in Bristol and at the barn to help my online presence truly represent who and what I am. Much as I am enjoying the process of improving my photography sometimes it really does pay to accept the help and expertise of a professional, and indeed for someone to take a photo of me since my selfie taking is inept to say the very least. We spent a really pleasurable day together pfaffing around with many of my creative bits and bobs while she captured what I am sure will be some beautiful shots. She kindly sent me a couple of previews which I am sharing in this post.

I am left feeling a bit exhausted and in need of more time than I have to digest everything, but determined to work hard at building a community around me who value the simple things in life, who seek not excitement and 'happiness' but perhaps rather contentment. I plan to keep on entertaining my curiosity and to allow myself to 'Do More of What I Love" while encouraging others to do likewise.

Oh, and if you're wondering what a Unicorn Smoothie looks like, here you go! I actually opted for the glass of wine......