It’s been a very introspective month one way or another. There is much challenge and much change around, both of the day to day and short term kind and the longer changing season of life kind.

It’s kept my mind incredibly busy and I’ve been really grateful for the clock change meaning more daylight in the evening’s so I can take a wander after work to process my thoughts on some lovely chilled dog walks.

Content strategy and design

I’ve been leaning in to the early stages of content modelling and ecosystem mapping work over the last few weeks – and have been hugely enjoying both areas. I’ve found myself in the flow with this work more often and that is really, really exciting to me.

I’ve also been looking at prototype candidates and it feels absolutely thrilling to be thinking about starting to sprint on something ahead of summer. I’m keen we build a codesign practice at the heart of what we do, and from these early sprints not only get some specific prototypes but inform the broader principles and governance too.

Planning and preparation has also been a significant task this month. Wrapping up an internal discovery and starting to document some of our define activities might feel slow at times, but I’m leaning into it knowing from experience thoroughness and careful consideration and curiosity now will pay dividends as we move to that prototyping phase.

Record label

Our first releases of 2022 dropped this month and it’s been both joyous and anxious to get them out there. Having had a few months break it was with mixed feelings I picked up our relationships with press, and lent into the sort of ‘muscle memory’ you have for guiding a campaign through.

It’s been wonderful to be back in the music space, back in those conversations, seeing connections being made around the music and artists we are fortunate enough to support, and even to think more deeply through interviews as a label too.

With a full schedule for 2022 we’re starting to look at 2023, and look at how we get back on track with our longer term ambitions for the label. This is the bit I really, deeply, love: the possibilities and the ways to make them reality.

Personal development

I’ve been trying to work out what works for me and what really doesn’t. I’ve long ago accepted myself as an introvert, have learnt my limits for interaction, and am kind to myself as well as open with others about the time I need for reflection and rest.

Pre-pandemic I think I’d made good progress toward being consistent in my social interaction needs but post-pandemic how I used to meet my needs, and the challenges I anticipated coming up against in social settings, now seems all out of whack again. If I’m honest a whole lot more complicated than ‘I need time alone to recharge my energy’. I’m starting to look again at who I am, what I struggle with and where I thrive, and whether all of that may be grouped under labels I’d not considered for myself before.

Doing all that is hugely challenging in itself, I am finding it exhausting to do it while also continuing to meet my commitments.

Reading and writing

Things I’ve read in March 2022

  • Dare to Lead – Brene Brown (book)
  • UX Designers and Content Designers: A Framework for Collaboration (indeed.design)
  • Why being vulnerable and sharing more of yourself will inspire your team (Trello blog)
  • Sub Pop’s Megan Jasper: “It felt like the ground beneath us could give at any moment” (The Guardian)
  • Katrin Suetterlin: Content Design for Neurodiversity (ellessmedia.com)
  • The Pros and Cons of Signing a Publishing Deal (BMI)
  • Obsessive Measurement Loops (OMI Loops) (Whatsthepont blog)
  • Mobile Screen Reader 101: How a blind person uses a smartphone (equalentry.com)
  • Compassion in UX: A hospital case study (uxcontent.com)
  • How we put users at the heart of our vision (dluhcdigital.blog.gov.uk)

Things I’ve written in March 2022

Pretty much only press releases over at Reckless Yes!

I’ve started to think about Popoptica and whether it feels right (and I’m ready) to return but I don’t want to jump in without consideration. Does my voice matter as a music journalist? I’m still not sure.

What else…

It’s been a month of poor health in this household – sickness bugs, Covid, and a general malaise which is probably exhaustion and being run down from those things. Proper rest needs to be on the cards, but returning more mindfully to nature and seeing the change of the seasons has been a salve.

Coming up next month

  • a break in Dumfries as a chance to see my immediate family for the first time since last summer
  • welcoming new team members at work
  • lots more releases at Reckless Yes
  • some decisions to be made about where I might go next with my personal development journey and how to keep showing up in ways which are authentic and acceptable in the meantime.

Original source – Sarah Lay

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