I’ve had a couple of frustrating days of trying to hone in on my purpose and how I serve our community within my freelance job.

As well as wrapping up Creativity Island, I have a freelance contract which is one day a week and coupled with the fact it’s VERY hard to return to work after having a baby it’s also been very hard to connect to my cultural sector colleagues who are all feeling extremely burnt out with the pandemic.

Some have worked right the way through since March 2020 with very little break pivoting their cultural offer and working out new ways to reach participants and audiences. Many agree that with the way zoom has enabled us to work in smarter ways we’ve forgotten to ‘rest’ away from screens and we’ve filled the gap we had with yet more work and more meetings.

It’s just not sustainable is it?

My colleagues don’t have huge salaries or lots of disposable income – they are working (surviving) from funding bid to funding bid as am I and in all honesty that’s a really hard way to live your life. It requires a lot of trust, a lot of showing up as your best self and a lot of working at 99% effort.

But we want to do it of course we do and we’re not on the front line, we’re not saving lives, we’re here to enhance them.

To bring joy, to uncover emotion, to help our audiences and participants connect to themselves on new levels.

That’s why I decided to try new ways of working in the lead up to maternity leave this time round and why Creativity Island was born.

My son is now 7 and my daughter is nearly 11 months. During the early years of becoming a family of three and juggling our freelance careers in 2015, there were months we struggled to pay our mortgage, days or pouring all of our limited energy into work which our bosses didn’t appreciate and external stress which just didn’t need to be there.

If you’ve been there too, you know you don’t want to go back there if you can help it right?

That’s why I made Creativity Island for Mums a real thing in the world. I wanted to use my skills as a creative producer and mentor for good and share how making moments for creativity within our lives as mothers really made a difference on so many levels.

The project has had 3 phases…

1. Research and development which translates as time to research, to network to connect with real people, to write a survey and digest the results.

2. Delivery – three online projects (which are all still live), two in person workshops which were gorgeous but brutally exhausting to deliver and launching a book.
3. Reflection and evaluation – I’m starting that now!

I wanted to hone in on writing a book and why it felt so important right here and now in 2021…

1. Because I noticed a trend of people being inspired by small businesses and feeling nourished by products in new ways. A book is a product and you consume it on your terms.

2. Previously all of my work was fuelled by people participating. It makes me feel physically unsteady to think of the number of people I’ve worked with in person since becoming a mum – (it’s tens of thousands because I also write the reports).

3. I needed to stop the rollercoaster of events generation and delivery just to test what was possible in another way.

So here’s my life changing nugget and it’s a quote that is recorded as anonymous which I wrote out on our fuse box cover at the bottom of the stairs when we did the extension on our home 4 years ago;

“Create the thing you wish existed”

If you want to know how… read my book and take yourself on your own journey to Creativity Island.

Sending sparkles for your evening ahead

Claire. x

PS – You can buy Creativity Island for Mums – The Journal here.

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