On 2021 (a review)

Well, it’s been six months since my last post here. And it feels really good to admit that I’m not mad about it. There’s a certain surreptitious joy in working quietly. And I seem to have caught the bug.

The Freelancing Quill hasn’t gone anywhere too far away. It’s been supporting clients as usual, but gently branching even further into the unknown. I worked alongside healthcare professionals of all kinds last year: doctors, professors, public health consultants, health data analytics specialists, and even frontline healthcare workers. Each of these projects is at a different stage of “getting there”, and I am so proud to share that a research proposal I helped write for an international programme for designing COVID-19 health education for frontline community health workers was awarded funding! Thanks to this win, TFQ is now able to keep supporting this good work as a research and digital communications consultant.

In the last few months of 2021, I was even surprised by the agency’s expansion into educational graphic design for music teachers - a totally new experience for me! TFQ also entered new collaborations, through Impact 17, with a national writers association, a home-based sanitation equipment salesperson, a solar panel installation company, and an international women’s entrepreneurship programme. There seemed to be no end to the number of projects I was involved in last year, and it was so good for this agency’s journey.

I am so grateful to all the agency's clients and excited, truly excited to keep learning from everyone I work with.

In 2021 there were a few times I wasn’t quite sure how to handle client requests - read ‘demands’ - and it was difficult to understand their needs in a way that was beneficial to both of us. It wasn’t too bad though. I put my virtual foot down in the best ways I know how: lots of questions and sending hyper-detailed emails consisting of timestamps with a clear paper trail of all that was achieved. This part was never easy, and I had half a mind to palm it off to someone who could “people” more proficiently. The lesson here was not to feel like I was losing all the hard work I had put in. And accept that their response to my work was never in my control. And that that is allowed. In this regard, I can safely suggest surrounding yourself with kind people who will read multiple drafts of the same email and tell you that you’re well within your rights to refuse further service.

Moving on to this year, I can confidently say that I don’t know what’s coming my way. In the same breath, I acknowledge that I am confident in my skills and willingness to learn quickly. Both of these have been steadfastly propelling this agency forward, and now it’s time to put these to the test: take this agency upward. It's time to grow!

Here’s to strong roots and steady growth. Here's to gentle times, new projects, and delighted clients. Here’s to learning something new every step of the way. Here’s to 2022!

See you in maybe…another six months? *laughs in blog writing procrastination*

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