Howdy, and apologies for the silence, I can’t believe we are 4-months into the year and this will only be my third blog?!! I’ve missed blogging so much! It was never my intention to be as quiet, but my manuscript is submitted and I have so much to update you on! You’ll be fed up with me again before you know it.
So to get things started, let’s begin with an honest conversation and go back to November 2022, when Margaret and I met for a supervision and content planning session. The plan was to do one blog a month, because you know, how much I love waffling on and after being so busy with working and my manuscript I was going to need to blog to wind down. Yet when January came and I was planning my 4th-anniversary post, I was struggling with writer’s block, so much so that I wrote the whole blog about not knowing what to write! It’s fair to say my content dipped… I mean, can you get any more boring?
I think in reality I was so scared I was going to say too much reflect on something that needed to go in the book. I’m not good at keeping secrets and didn’t want to fall into the trap of giving the game away! So, I made the decision not to force content and decided just to see where time took me and let’s say it was a bit unexpected. Before we continue I should also tell you, that a big goal of mine that came out of my supervision session with Margaret was to hold back on freelancing/volunteering and just focus on the book and working.
I’d got this, although I would miss these roles, I knew Margaret was right I had a big deadline coming up I was only a few months into a new job I needed to focus! It was only a few months, I could lay low, right? Not quite. The second week of January came and I’d had an email about speaking at Naidex as well as a few other projects and I just couldn’t say no…
Naidex is one of the biggest disability expos in Europe. Speaking at Naidex has always been a career dream of mine but never one I wanted to admit out loud. Me, speaking at Naidex? Come on, there’s a disabled community full of people out there doing way more amazing things than me, I’m only just starting out. But this isn’t quite the truth anymore. This is my sixth year creating content and my fourth year of NSTP. When I started this journey I never imagined being here and yeah, I am very lucky that my blog has received the reception it has. As Margaret will gently remind me, I have worked very hard to get here, and written content on no spoons whilst managing placement and assignment deadlines and I have to give myself credit for that.
I love what I do but life as a content creator can be very tiring especially when the content is mostly about your own experiences which can be emotionally draining to reflect on. For so long I’ve had massive imposter syndrome about what I do and the content I create that it’s fair to say, I’ve let myself be tokenised. I remember getting my first paid project in 2020 and thinking that, it was too much and that I wasn’t worth that money. Since then I’ve only been paid a handful of times for giving presentations and every time I get paid I still question my worth.
But actually, this year has been a big wake-up call. Speaking to other disabled activists and dear friends within the community has helped me see my worth and what I do bring to the table. So much so that now I’ve gotten to the stage where when I’m getting contact for freelancing I’m asking if it’s paid.
I’m not saying that I’m going to turn everything down that isn’t paid as speaking and writing guest posts are always beneficial for professional development and I love it. But, I’m also reaching the stage now, where I have limited time and what I once did to ‘get my name out there’ is not worth the effect on my spoon levels.
I don’t want the blog to read as if I’ve come back an even bigger diva than before as that’s not it and nothing has dramatically changed. I’ll still be volunteering for AbleOTUK and CP Teens UK as well as being more active on here – I have so much gossip to fill you in on! Yet, this is about me finally knowing my worth and not letting my imposter syndrome cast a shadow on the roles I choose for myself. Lived experience is valid and essential if we are going to challenge and move rights forward and knowing my worth is part of that process.
So here I am, ready for the next adventure, whatever that may be…
Get in touch and let me know what you think, and share your own experiences.
Thank you for reading,