Next week, on the first of March, I’ll be starting a round of #MarchMeetTheMaker, a social media challenge run on Instagram every year since 2016. The idea is to showcase yourself and your business, grow your confidence in using social media, meet other creatives, and have a little bit of fun with the daily prompts, like number 10: Storage. I’m excited because the organiser, Joanne Hawker, has made lovely printable planners and thinks that storage deserves a day all of its own.
The first post is to be about ‘you and your work’, and I already have that feeling you get when
attending any new course or team building exercise, and you have to play an icebreaker and can’t remember anything about who you are or where you live or your favourite whatever, and you’re wishing you had brought your designer handbag to play ‘what’s in the bag of the person on your left?’ and not the bag-for-life full of half-eaten toddler snacks, a broken pencil, a wad of printer paper and a leaky travel mug actually sitting on the floor next to you.
I want the person who runs my business to carry a designer handbag and know exactly who they are at all times, because you tend to trust professional, pulled together people, but in reality, I am not always that person. And so, trying to decide on 100 words and an image that defines ‘me and my work’ has got me wondering: who am I?
When I think about what defines a character, a person, I think about how we are all the sum of our parts, a collection of actions put together over time. In a Graham Green novel, was it Brighton Rock? the author spends some time letting a character (I can’t remember which one, but a man) talk about how he doesn’t drink tea because it gives him wind. I love that as a defining feature. It poses so many questions: about knowing yourself; about social norms; about writing characters; about the rules we make for ourselves; about tea drinking. We only drink rooibos (redbush) at home, and I think about this man every time I must make a cup of ‘regular’ tea.
Who we are online doesn’t have to be who we are in real life, but I think it is probably easier not to be making up a character all the time. So, who am I? What kind of boss am I? How does it look? And if, over the month, I don’t think I am who I seem to be, can I change it?
I would say yes. A challenge invites change. I know for certain that I love planners and things to put other things into, but the rest I will figure out as I go along.
At the end of March, what will the sum of my parts be? A gassy, middle-aged man, perhaps? You’ll have to follow #MarchMeetTheMaker and find out!