Okay, I'll let you in on a secret. When 2015 started, I wasn't holding out much hope for it as a year. The months prior had been pretty awful, and the future was looking more or less the same. I wanted to pull a 'February 29th' on this whole year and get on with 2016 already.
Somehow, in the end 2015 has emerged as not bad at all. I can look back at this year and say that, on the whole, it was fun. This is how it panned out:
January: cabin fever
The temptation to stay in bed and wait for 2015 to go away was admittedly high. I wasn't looking forward to it. If someone had bought me a light clock thinger for Christmas 2014 I may have been in a better mood.
What I did drag myself out of the house for was the annual winter festival of light, art and expensive street food at Canary Wharf. As a change from the usual ice sculptures, there were lights attached to everything in sight. A giant story book told us fairytales in a creepy little girl voice, and one of the bridges let off smoke whenever you crossed it. I think this pic sums the evening up nicely.
February: celebrating the year of the bus
TfL's 'year of the bus' campaign in 2014 celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Routemaster. With Chinese New Year in February, jokes about 2015 being 'the Chinese year of the bus' were temporarily added to my repertoire. The day itself was spent being shoved in the back through rammed Chinatown side streets in search of four blokes dressed as a lion.
I'd also waited ages for a bus, and then 60 of them turned up in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at once. This meant I could conveniently take pics of all of them before they were auctioned off, without having to do some convoluted 'bus walk'. Here's an idea, TfL: put on a BUS route for this stuff. See more photos of mini bus statues here.
March: twiddling my thumbs
It felt like a quiet month, did March. Obviously things must have happened, but I don't seem to have much evidence of that. Considering I wrote about having no motivation, it wouldn't be outlandish to assume my own energy levels were running low.
A peek back at my blogs for ShellsuitZombie reminded me that I tried a twerkshop and failed miserably at it. The 'twerkshop' was running at the Women of the World (WOW) Festival to celebrate International Women's Day. Far from inspiring confidence and power, it gave us all bruised knees.
April: 'doing' comedy
At some point back around January, I made the error of designating 2015 as 'the year to try out some stand-up comedy'. Like spring daffodils, my fledgling jokes moved, squinting, towards the light – and were promptly crushed underfoot. My set changed so many times in the first few weeks that someone should've instated a 'no refunds' policy.
I was still getting used to being a freelance copywriter, and worried that potential clients could get a whiff of my uncertainty from 50 paces. Somehow, other writers are now coming to me for advice. 'Blow your nose' should probably be top of the list.
May: the wind changed
May was when I decided I wasn't staying in London for much longer. I remember this because I made my mind up during the Funny Women weekend in Brighton. The conditions were frankly perfect for me to do something drastic. It was chilly and raining, and I'd just received my umpteenth call along the lines of 'they loved you but they've hired someone else'. Seomthing had to change, and it would likely be me.
I cried, embarrassed, in front of two amazing women... who told me to buck up and get my shit together. Which I promptly did. Thanks, ladies.
Incidentally, May is also the month in which this lovely website of mine went live. Yay.
A highlight was the now infamous summer #copywritersunite night. I reviewed it on this blog a couple of days later. Once you've tried putting the fries *inside* your cheeseburger, you'll never go back. There have been more nights since, and another is planned for January. If you've yet to experience #copywritersunite in person then come along.
July: non-stop summer
If the photo folders on my laptop are any indication, I did a hell of a lot between June and August. Some of the summer was spent in Devon pretending to be a photographer's assistant and drinking in disconcertingly empty pubs. I mean it, the tennis was on and there were no other punters in sight.
July is my birth month (hint, hint) so there was naturally plenty of food and drink involved. The nice folks at Benefit Cosmetics treated us Funny Women to an 'Alice in Wonderland'-themed afternoon tea. On my birthday itself, the parents came along to eat Caribbean food with me. There are absolutely no doubts about where I get my appetite from.
August: family values
I caught up with my proper family and my extended friend-family, something I guiltily admit I hadn't done for a while. My sister's family visited London for a few days, and I trekked off to Scotland to meet my best friend's new baby.
As a bit of a breather, I spent some relaxed alone time at the Notting Hill Carnival. You may scoff, but in my time in London this was the best carnival I'd been to. The rain and the lower turnout meant I had amazing views of the whole procession. On the downside, I doubt there was any rum in my rum punch. You live and learn.
September: leaving London
The first day of September is Japan's official start of autumn, and to me it signalled the beginning of the end. By the 20th, I'd moved out of London to save up and try the backup plan. Going to the city four years ago was the biggest risk I'd ever taken, but leaving was completely calculated. I agonised over it so much it hurt.
Is this a good thing? It's probably too early to say either way. There have been many days when I've wondered whether packing up and getting the hell outta Dodge was the right thing to do. At the moment, I still think it was. Only time will tell.
October: a happy Halloween
As quite a few clients are in London and I suddenly wasn't any more, I feel like I spent most of October in transit. The late night trains and staying in friends' spare bedrooms didn't help with the unease about moving, because I didn't feel settled. Thankfully none of that showed through in my work.
The life of a copywriter, eh? My calling in life was not to be a makeup artist, that's for certain. For Halloween, I set out to make my face look sort of skeleton-ish... and the final result was Marilyn Manson. With skeleton tights on. Totally not weird at all.
November: published all over the place
Work's been pleasingly diverse and mercifully regular this year, and autumn is when I feel I really got into my writing groove. Thanks to everyone who roped me in to write something for them over the last 12 months - please keep on calling and emailing me...
This year, one of my new year's resolutions was to be published in print. With the arrival of ShellsuitZombie magazine issue 6, that finally happened. SSZ6 is sexy and full of work by amazing, talented people (including me) and you can buy it online right now.
I've also started blogging for the Professional Copywriters' Network. That technically began before November, but it seems that the later into the year we got the more controversial I became. For example, this post about translating client feedback earned me a comparison to 'that twerp off The Apprentice'. You can't please them all.
December: mulling things over
December = Christmas. How many Christmas markets do you think you could stand? I tried to visit as many as possible this year, and I made it to five. Bristol, Dublin, London, Milton Keynes and Birmingham. That's a lot of bratwurst and mulled wine, and my stomach had no hesitation in reminding me.
On the copywriting front, I've always found December to be slow but your mileage may vary. I shut up shop for Christmas a little early compared to some, to compensate for working weekends. (Freelance privilege.) It's been nice to sit back and take stock of the year, like I'm doing now. And it's good that I've had the time to write out this post, as it's far longer than I anticipated. Sorry about that.
2016: the year of the Kady
Remember when I said I wanted 2016 to just begin already? If it wasn't bugging me in January, it's unbearable now that there are just a couple of days to go. My intuition for 2015 was that it'd be sub-par, and the year duly went ahead and proved me wrong. I'd like to be right about 2016, because my hunch is that it'll be amazing.
If everyone who said they'll get back to me about copywriting projects in January does, I'm going to be busy. Busy can be good or bad, I know. At the very least, I'm looking forward to the variety that all of those potential new collaborations will bring.
How was 2015 for you, love? Got anything exciting planned for next year? You know where to find me - on Twitter, where I broke through the 1k follower barrier this year.