As yet another year draws to a close I am finishing off a few last amends for clients and sorting out clearing my desk for Christmas. Who knows I might even manage to get my inbox emptied over the break! #
It has been a pretty down and up year and one in which I finally went freelance to explore new opportunities. Bad organisation and a very odd chain of events meant doing this with no safety net or any real preparation, I had to hit the ground running...
Leaving an agency I had poured my heart and soul into over more than a decade was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I am so grateful to family and friends, especially a few of my pals on Twitter who gave me support and kind words and pointed me in the direction of some freelance work literally days after I mentioned I was available.
As the year progressed I have worked on some great projects including an ethical fashion brand, something I would love to build upon in 2019. Environmental issues are something close to my heart and I also started a side project company, delivering plastic free produce via cargo cycle. Although ultimately this did not work out from a time/finance perspective I learnt so much about running a business, and seeing things with the eyes of a client will really assist with the digital projects I work on going forward.
One of the reasons I decided to go freelance was to give me some time to work on things that give back a little, I helped out as a volunteer at the inaugural Birmingham Design Festival which as a massive success, Birmingham Beer Week and contributed some articles to .NET magazine including the design challenge and a How we built this feature on a JAMstack site I was involved with for OpenActive.
I spent the last quarter of the year contracting at a digital agency in Birmingham part time. It felt really weird being both the 'new guy' and the 'old guy' at the same time but they welcomed me in and it has been a real highlight to work with such driven and talented people. Working their as both a producer and a digital lead has been great as I have got to keep my dev skills sharp whilst helping to guide and manage the projects going through the studio.
Yep, there have been moments of worry, would I cover the mortgage, could I finish something on time. Where was the next piece of work coming from, but there were also moments of real satisfaction, being able to deal with clients on my terms, making a difference to their businesses. I even finally managed to complete all 31 days of #inktober, something I have tried and failed at several years running!
So, what will the New Year bring? #
Who knows but I for one am excited as to what 2019 will bring for myself and the clients/friends who have helped me finish the year with a smile on my face... thank you all so so much I owe you all a beer. :)