I’ve come across quite a few annual reviews in the last couple of weeks. I find it fascinating to have a glimpse into the lives and businesses of others, to see how things develop, the choices they make, the ups and downs, what has been learned.

So I thought I’d do one! It’s in three parts as it got rather long. {You know me. 😉 } It’s a mix of personal and work, since they are of course connected. Some things might surprise you, and in the spirit of my recent shift, there are things here I haven’t always talked about, so enjoy!

I found my Creative {non}Planner really helpful for gathering the events of the year together. {Sidenote: the ‘Celebrate’ page turned out to be genius – I felt incredible after I’d done it! Recommend! Plus, it’s free. :)}


January 22 2015

January 22 2015

>> After many years of wanting one, finally bought myself a DSLR camera. Started my LiquidLight series, partly as a means of teaching myself how to use it. Much creative satisfaction. {Tip: Always have a personal ‘heart project’ on the go.} I’ve used that camera most days this year.

>> Took an intensive – and fun – biz planning course with Cigdem Kobu as part of a lovely online entrepreneur group I was in, which produced an aha moment when I realised I wanted to shift my focus from helping ‘beginners’ to helping people uncover and develop what was unique about their own artistic style. Looking back I can see this was the start of a major shift in how I want to approach my work in the world. More on that later. Also inspired by this course, I upgraded my gift for subscribers to a free mini course, which has had great feedback.

>> Joined Cornerstone, Laura Simms‘ “yearlong group coaching collective for purpose-driven entrepreneurs”. I love Laura’s work and the way she does it, even though I’m not her target market, so this was a great opportunity to be able to work with her. It proved a lovely and supportive touchstone throughout the year; over the past couple of years, discovering the value of being part of a group of people in the same boat has made an extraordinary difference to my life.

>> Won a free coaching session with Jac McNeil, who is AMAZING at what she does and absolutely lovely. It was a highlight of this year to have the opportunity to speak with her. The main result was that I officially launched Creative Conversations, my one to one creative mentoring service, which I’d been massively procrastinating on due to being terrified. I worked with three wonderful artists this year, before deciding that this wasn’t the direction I felt I could best be of service. I’m glad I did it though – so much learned.

>> Also this month, I made the highest profit in a single month I’ve ever made from my own creative work. #veryexciting


February 19 #1 2015

February 19 #1 2015

>> Turned 37. Since 2014 I’ve chosen to spend my birthdays alone, as I originally wrote about here. I’ve done a lot of self acceptance ‘work’ in the past few years, and claiming my birthdays as time just for me, rather than something involving others/alcohol/outward celebrating, was a pivotal moment.

>> I like to do giveaways around my birthday, so this year I collaborated with some creative friends and organised a week of giveaways. It was so much fun, and I realised how much I like collaborating and – now that my sphere has grown a bit – being able to spread the word about people whose work in the world I love and respect. Looking back I can see this may have been the trigger – and cosmic invitation – for more that came later.


March 20 #2 2015

March 20 #2 2015

>> Ran Abstractify for the first time. Every time I run a course I feel sick with nerves that I won’t be able to fill the classroom in a way that will create enough energy for everyone to get the most out of it. This year I took matters into my own hands, and drew an image of the classroom as a round table with chairs around it. In the middle I wrote my intention for the class, and each time someone signed up I wrote their name in one of the seats and did a little happy dance of gratitude to them for trusting me. It worked! I reached my minimum of 20 and the course was, by all accounts, a great success. If you were in that group, I bet you didn’t know you got a free dance when you signed up!

>> Launched an idea that had been brewing – Discovery Art Workshops. The idea was to create a series of short workshops on specific topics; shorter and more affordable than a full course but more action generating than a blog post. I created one on soft pastels, and, um, that’s it so far! I still love the idea but something about the format isn’t working for me, so this one’s currently on the back burner.


double exposure photo

>> Celebrated two years since my book was published! It feels like way longer. In some ways, I feel as though I’m no longer the same person who wrote it, but whenever I dip into it I realise that although compact, it’s actually pretty good. 😉 Still completely relevant and easy to read. I have heard from people all over the world who’ve enjoyed it, so that makes me happy, and it seems to sell consistently, at a rate of about one a month. Hehe. Riches are on their way. 🙂 I’d definitely like to write another at some point.

>> Updated my website with the help of Rob at IT Arsenal who is fantastic {if you need tech help, I recommend – tell him I sent you!}. I did all the design myself {I completely adore doing this part; the technical side, notsomuch} and he did the tech wizardry that brought it to life. We added integrated classrooms which has been a bit of a nightmare but thankfully with technology there are always workarounds. Was SUPER pleased with how it has turned out and am really happy to have a site that feels a match for who I am and what I’m doing.


May 18 2015

May 18 2015

>> Did the Free Write Fling with Cynthia Morris, which is a month of prompts and community to get you writing every day. I didn’t have a specific project to work on so thought I’d experiment with just writing and seeing what came up. I learned some useful things: I do not like to do anything every day, especially if it’s a specific creative task; I don’t do that well with prompts; it’s probably wise to have a focus for a challenge like this. If that sounds like I regret it, I don’t. I had an exciting idea for a book which is nothing like ready to come to fruition yet but will percolate for as many years as it needs to, or develop into something else. And it was great to get to work with Cynthia and hang out with a whole range of writers, a world I am not really involved in. I fully advocate stretching your creative muscles in unusual-for-you areas.

>> Decided to listen to something that had been tugging at me for some time and take a break from my work. The first few months of the year had been exciting and intense, and although I wasn’t burned out, I just knew it was time to go inward and percolate what wanted to come next. I didn’t know anything – what it meant, what I would do, what would happen as a result, even what I wanted – I just knew it needed to happen.

>> Took my first holiday abroad in about three years, to Majorca. It was blissful and challenging; blissful because I found a gorgeous hotel where my every whim could be catered for, the sun shone and it was hot every day, and I began to play with the idea of being more ‘in the world’ after several years of being very inward and hermit-like, barely even leaving my home. Challenging because it was in a way a shock to my {very sensitive} system; giving myself something this ‘big’, the daily experience of having my meals made for me whenever I wanted them, of having truly nothing ‘to do’, of writing writing writing, and of beginning to uncover a layer of my True Self to myself. I cried the first night –  a kind of release. After that it was lovely.



>>  I literally have no idea what happened this month. I wrote no blog posts, and was doing my time out.


So, that’s the first half of the year accounted for! Tomorrow I’ll post the second half. And the day after that we’ll look at some other, um, interesting stuff.

Part Two | Part Three