So. Where to begin?
In June I wrote a post about the lessons I have learnt so far this year and as I look back on that post, it continues to summarise my thoughts on 2020 pretty well.
I have felt like a boxer at times this year: dodging, weaving, changing direction, and taking the odd blow. Having a business that is adaptable is crucial. But it is an altogether different challenge when that need to change is not happening on your terms.
A year of discipline
But there are a lot of positives to take.
One thing I am giving myself a big pat on the back for is my blogging discipline. One of my goals for 2020 was to blog more frequently and consistently. Everyone has their own take on what that means but for me every fortnight, on a Wednesday, was my original plan.
And I am very pleased to say that I have achieved that. This is my 27th and final post of the year: one a fortnight for the whole of 2020. It may seem trivial but this year, more than ever, having that routine – something to keep me disciplined – has been so important.
The lockdowns hit the photography industry so hard but it has allowed me to take stock of my business plan. Part of that plan involved me launching my bi-monthly subscriber update, In Focus. It’s still in its infancy but I have some exciting ideas lined up for next year based on industry knowledge sharing.
I’ve also had one of my busiest ends to a year with a run of personal branding shoots which is a positive note to end on. It’s hard to explain quite how good it feels to be working through editing marathons and planning shoots again!
On a personal level it has been an extremely challenging year – as it has for everyone. I somehow managed to book-end two separate lockdowns with a bout of chicken pox in March and a broken (and still deformed) finger in November.
For someone used to travelling and nearly always planning my next trip, the limited opportunities this year has been difficult. Far from the most important thing to worry about of course, but I hate the feeling of wasted time. When I think of all the cancelled trips and missed travel I can’t help but measure it in the form of a somewhat lost year.
But without a doubt the greatest challenge has nothing to do with photography. It has been enduring this year whilst my father is in a care home. I last saw him in February and, unfortunately, it is still unclear as to exactly when a visit will happen. Having that constant anxiety and concern for his health and wellbeing has been relentless.
I’ve never been one to make New Year resolutions. I’ve always felt it is an excuse to put off something you could do today. In any event I feel that after all the unpredictability this year everyone has given up on making plans for the future! In some respects that might not be such a bad thing. The best laid plans and all that.
Instead what I intend to do is ensure that I take all the skills and experience that 2020 has taught me into next year. The past nine months certainly haven’t gone to plan but crucially I feel that I am entering 2021 with renewed momentum.
I feel bolder and more ambitious. I also have a clearer focus about where I want my business to go, the clients I can help, and how I can continue to improve my service.
I’ll wrap things up by saying a huge thank you to all my wonderful clients who have been understanding throughout, my supportive friends and family, and all my subscribers, people who have left me Google reviews and, of course, readers of my blog.
To all of you I wish you every happiness through the festive period and a very healthy and happy new year.