A year goes quickly. It’s been 12 months since I launched Seedbed Creative Ltd, and 18 months since taking the plunge and going freelance.I say ‘taking the plunge’ when what I actually mean is ‘being pushed off a cliff into the unknown’. Previously I was working in a place that was, it is probably safe to say, the worst fit I have ever experienced. It was like mistakenly wearing underwear three sizes too small and made of totally manmade fibres: Stifling, uncomfortable and ultimately bad for my health.

So I found myself sitting in Become Manchester’s office with Justin, discussing my needs for full time roles. It was Justin that suggested that maybe freelance was the way to go. I wasn’t convinced. “I don’t deal well with uncertainties” I said. Like all the best advisors, Justin suggested I try it while looking for other work. I eventually agreed, went for my proficiency test, and didn’t look back.

6 months later I was setting up Seedbed Creative. I can honestly say there hasn’t been a more creative period for me than freelancing and running my own studio. The wealth of work, the different people I’ve worked with, and the things I’ve learnt have been invaluable.

Of course there have been lean times. I’m sure there will be more. But they are MY lean times, and they are more than offset by successes and partnerships with other creatives, and by the wonderful clients I have worked with and for. I’m not overstating the client part, because I haven’t had to work on projects that go against my flow, or against my beliefs. I think that shows in my work. It has allowed me to tweak my prices for charities and good causes and small businesses, which is important to me. It means I can bring my ethics to my business.

I pretty much enjoy Mondays too, and I didn’t see that coming.

So this is in part an open letter to any creative stuck in a job that is serving neither them or their employers, but it is also a big, soppy, far-from-typically-northern-blerk-me, thanks to Become, Orchard and The Book for starting me on the freelance road, and to everyone I’ve worked for and with over the past 12 months through Seedbed Creative. Here’s to another year.