It’s just over a year now since I first started out in this brave new world of self employment; a year, which has been packed full of new experiences.  Throughout that time, I’ve been aware of a feeling that it would be good to chart this journey, and it was quite early on that I decided I might try writing a blog.  But, as often happens, it’s never quite that simple – it seemed that it would be better to piggy-back a blog onto a website; and getting a website together takes time…

So now I’m at the stage of wishing I’d written about some of the “firsts” as they happened – first market, first sale, first commission, first chance to carve cherry wood/plum wood/sumac, first kuksa… but what I’ve found is that, for me, the opportunity to write about these events in that frame of mind of new discovery is short.  Those first experiences simply aren’t new enough any more.

Now, I’m just feeling blank on the topic of what to actually write about.  That “blankness”, in the face of a deadline, or an empty sheet of paper, is quite reminiscent of being at school.  And actually, it’s struck me that all these new opportunities and “firsts” are also rather similar to some of the experiences of childhood.  This first year has been full of learning the ropes, finding where to go for different things, learning what works for me and what doesn’t.  I already feel very lucky to have this chance to do what I love and explore whether it really can be a business for me.  But I also feel lucky as a parent, to be able to be back in the land of firsts, and perhaps empathise more closely with children as they deal with all of their new experiences.

And so I find myself having to re-learn some of the hard-won lessons from my childhood.  That you don’t need, and you shouldn’t expect, to do everything “right first time”.  The first time won’t be perfect, and more importantly, it won’t be the last time.  It is just the first step on a journey.  It’s primary purpose is to take you to the next place, and it’s something to reflect on and learn from.

After reflection, I’ve realised that I need to learn that there is no point in agonising about what topic to write my first blog post on.  I need to remember that the first post doesn’t need to be perfect – my blog “voice” won’t emerge fully formed.  All it needs to be is the first one.  And in the doing, I’ll learn how to do it, and I’ll have ideas about where the path ahead might go