For the first time since I started writing my monthly round ups, I just didn’t have the energy to write the blog. I’m not sure quite why but it confirmed a feeling I had about reworking how I use my blog next year.
This autumn/winter has felt tough, as my last couple of blogs have hinted at, and that fatigue has taken its toll. I thought I would make a combined effort and write a little about both November and December to catch up.
Work has been incredibly busy towards the end of the year. I spent a great deal of it in schools, finishing up my work with Future First – whose core programme which required freelance support finished this term – completed the HeadStart Action programme at my schools in Haringey, and began delivering a new resilience building programme on behalf of Mental Health UK.
I also supported YoungMinds Young Activists to hand in a petition to parliament in early November, calling for the government to take early intervention in young people’s mental health seriously. I dipped back into Time to Change in November as well, delivering Young Leaders training in Southampton and supporting campaigning training for Young Champions in Manchester.
It will come as no surprise that writing has made up a big chunk of my free time. I made some big changes to the novel, after feeling a little stuck, and am now about halfway through the second draft. I’m feeling so much better about it and have a rough outline of the rest of the draft noted down so I’m hoping I can use the festive break to make headway with the second half.
I’ve also spent a lot more time on sketching and drawing in recent weeks. I attended the SketchAppeal Christmas workshop for a dose of collective festive cheer – which is often missing when you go freelance – and also was one of their featured artists in their Sketchmas Countdown. You can read a mini interview with me on all things art, wellbeing and WHAM! on their website.
In other artistic news, I also had the joy of being asked by the wonderful Dear Damsels if I would create an illustration for their 2019 annual. Creating the piece – inspired by a story that will feature in the publication – was such a fun creative process and I’m so excited to see it in print in the new year.
In December I enjoyed a trip down to Keynsham/Bath for my first board meeting as an official Action for M.E trustee, getting to know one of my trustee colleagues on a shared road trip (as well as commiserating about the election results the following day).
I don’t know if you’ve heard but Christmas and New Year are happening soon so that’s going to be the next couple of weeks sorted! After that it’s getting back into work and starting the new year fresh.
As has become tradition, I will be writing an annual review and sharing that come new year’s eve. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas, however you choose to celebrate it, and see you on the other side.