57 reasons to get outside

57 reasons to get outside

As I write this, we are currently enjoying the grey skies of the 57th day of 2017. How do I know this, you may ask. That’s easy, I just look outside and I can see the clouds.

Oh, I see. How do I know it is the 57th day of the year? That’s also easy. I just check my instagram account.

The harder question to answer is why my instagram account knows this information. Or, to think about it another way, what does any of this have to do with my new small business and this Recycled Words site? With the help of 57 varieties of photo, I will try to answer that question. It’s the Heinz approach, if you will.

Starting a small business is easy

All you need to do is fill out some forms on the internet and – boom! – you’re in business.

Starting a small business is not easy

Of course, everything else is hard. Finding your customers and clients, doing the admin, building your product and portfolio base, redoing the admin, networking, updating the admin, forming a new discipline, forgetting to do your admin, staying disciplined, throwing the admin out the window… You get the idea.

The admin side of things had a bit of a bashing in my last post (insurance, grr!) and, today, I am focussing on one of the other things from that list: discipline.

Discipline: 57 shades of grey, green, and blue

You have to work hard to be in business. I don’t think that’s a controversial thing to say. Knuckling down and getting on with things is a good discipline to have.


One of the things that I wanted when I changed career last year and set up this new (ad)venture, was for more freedom. Freedom to be creative in my work (it’s frowned upon in financial services, particularly in accounts). Freedom to choose the path my working life would take. And freedom to live with a better balance to my life.

And that last point is a tough one to square with that just-started-up-and-am-panicking-that-I-need-to-make-this-a-success work ethic that tends to see you with head down and rear end firmly in its seat.

The main thrust behind my previous (personal) blog/website was the need to balance the things I enjoyed in my life with the desire to retain some level of fitness and health. There were ups and downs, and it was never a thing that was fully and finally resolved.

And come the beginning of 2017, I knew that I was failing with the whole balance thing. When your commute involves crossing the landing then there is a real risk that you might not make it outside from one day to the next and that’s patently ridiculous. Particularly when a large degree of my work is influenced by – inspired by, even – the natural world all around us.

So I challenged myself. Stop being an idiot and get outside.

Something Wild

The challenge is this:

Go outside each and every day during 2017 and take a photo of something. Something wild. (Well, okay, wild-ish. It’s not like there are lions out there or anything. Although that would be cool if there was. Note to self: try to get a photo of a lion.)

That’s all. Stand up from your desk, step outside the front door, and take a photo. Then post it on instagram. One photo, every day in 2017.

57 down, 308 to go

At the point of penning this post, it is day 57 and I have 57 #somethingwild photos cluttering up both my instagram account and this Journal entry.

Not all are top-quality photos. A couple were taken by torchlight when I remembered far too late in the day that I hadn’t taken my photo. But all are a record of a day that has stepped behind us into the past. Each and every one has a story behind it. And, occasionally, some are also quite nice photographs in their own right.

So here’s to discipline, both in work and in play. And here’s to the beautiful world outside our front doors.

And here’s to another 308 days of getting outside and experiencing it.

Follow me on instagram to see all of this year’s Something Wild photos, plus behind-the-scenes and work-in-progress photos of my art and illustration work.

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