My 2021 So Far (being self-employed)

My 2021 so far
Actually a photo from 2020, I’m much blonder now.

My 2021 So Far

Can be summed up in the following…

How the year started out:

How it’s going now:

But, let’s get into the specifics!

My Self-doubt struggle (especially creative)

2021 Started with a lot of self-doubt for me. Self-doubt about the path I was on, but especially self-doubt about the book I was writing. Because I made plans to officially start prepping and writing my book to get it self-published in 2022, it all became extremely real. I started to doubt whether my writing would be good enough and whether I was ready to get published. The thought maybe I should wait a couple of years before doing this, crossed my head more than once. But we all know that after that “couple of years” I would still be scared. I recently found the quote/mantra: “First Get Going, then Get Good.” And it’s SO true.
I recorded a podcast about dealing with my creative self-doubt if you want to have a listen:

masterpiece in progress

The getting-over-it part

So, I did finally get over it last month. At least, I started managing the feelings. I did this through journaling and by focusing on what it is I want – why I’m doing what I’m doing. Visualizing my dreams and ultimate life vision. One of the things I also did to start working on my book, was reading Amie McNee’s guide about procrastination. She has some really great supporting products for people who make art in any shape or form.
Plus, sometimes it really helps to talk it out – with yourself. YES! Talk to yourself. Talk yourself out of the negativity and into the positivity. You know how you sometimes start talking to someone about a problem and you find the solution whilst talking about it? It’s exactly like that with talking to yourself. It helps. I swear.

Working on my Book

THEN, let’s talk about the thing that has brought me the most joy by far! Working on my book. At the beginning of the year, I had written only about 10k words into the manuscript and I’m currently working on the second draft and 75k words into it. It’s becoming the story that I’d envisioned and I’m growing more and more proud of it each day.
But, writing a book is scary. I love the process and I love working on my story, characters, and the world – but the thought that people are going to be reading this book within the next twelve months (according to my current schedule) is scary as fuck. It’s breathtakingly scary.
If you want to know more about my first book, the writing, and publishing process, or anything else – keep your eye out! And if you want to know how to create a writing routine that works for you, read this post.

Book writing so far
The manuscript is pictured in Dutch here – but I’ll be publishing in both English and Dutch!

Did a Blogging & Pinterest course

Which was super informational! I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years now, but I never really took it seriously in the way that it could support me and my business. So after I finished the course, which taught me about a lot of new topics, I implemented everything I learned. However, as life goes, things get adjusted over time and I’ve slowly started to give it my own personal flavor. Having tried the impersonal blogging thing, I’ve now gone back to putting more of myself in the blog posts and going that route. Of course, I’ll keep doing this as long as I still find it fun to do. Which I hope will be a long time, as I’m really fond of blogging.

Blogging and Pinterest course

Uncertainty in Business

What I’m pursuing IS a business. And businesses, especially in the beginning, bring a bit of uncertainty with them. Both in good and bad ways. How I deal with this uncertainty is to focus on my mindset. My core belief is that everything is determined by and dependent on your mindset. If you believe that your business will succeed, it will. If you believe that it’s hard to earn money through your business, it will be hard. So I try to focus on creating positive belief systems around my business, for it to succeed and grow into the vision I hold for it!

My Erin Condren planner
Still SO happy with my Erin Condren planner!

How I manage my Time and Schedule

A major theme in my life has been planning and scheduling. Because I’m so ‘good’ at it, I tended to fall into the habit of over-scheduling and micro-managing my life. But for the last two months, I’ve fallen into a routine that totally works for me. And the trick – I found – is this: do what you love to do and know why you do it. When I permitted myself to do the things I love to do, I’ve started keeping up with my planning. Because yes, I totally have a tight plan that I’m following, but it is one with deliberate thoughts and intentions behind it. Which gets me motivated to work on what’s on it, almost every time. Yes, there are times and days I don’t feel like doing anything. But most of the time, I do them anyway because I love it – and I know when to take breaks and what my optimal schedule looks like. I, for example, work from late in the morning till mid-evening (so more like 11-8/9 instead of 9-5).

Reading and Books

Reading and Books

I’ve read 48 books so far this year, which is more than I have ever read in such a time frame. This is mostly due to the incredibly large amount of historical romance novels I’m consuming (post with my recs coming soon!). Before Bridgerton I knew the genre existed, but it never appealed to me. But after Bridgerton, there’s just a whole new Britt. I swear, I’m drinking the genre in like oxygen. I’m even starting to write like one, using all these British words. I swear, I even started embroidering because it popped up so much in these books and seemed like a lot of fun – plus, I love sewing so it was a natural way of finding something new to do. I did this for exactly one night though, but who knows, maybe I’ll try it again later!
Besides all the historical romance novels, I also read the highly anticipated ‘A Court of Silver Flames’ by Sarah J. Maas. If you did NOT know yet, Sarah J. Maas is my absolute one hundred thousand percent favorite author in the whole world. ACOSF was long coming and I loved every single second of it. I’ve read it two times already and am currently listening to the audiobook. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Now I have to wait for Crescent City book #2. BUT, one day after this post gets published, ‘The Crown of Gilded Bones’ by Jennifer L. Armentrout comes out – so that will keep me company (also a highly anticipated release).
And if you did not know yet, Fairyloot released this amazing special edition set of The ‘From Blood and Ash’ series by Jennifer L. Armentrout – which I’m going to become a proud owner of!

How do I unwind?

You might be wondering, or most likely not. But I believe it’s a super important topic to focus on. You have to unwind in some way. ANY way. For me, this is walking and gaming. I do both of these almost every day and it truly helps me relax. Well, with gaming it’s at least 90% of the time because I’m playing Call of Duty and that game gets serious at times. At least, for me. 😉

How do I unwind?

Lots of Love,

Britt van den Elzen

Hi! I’m Britt, a 20-something creative entrepreneur from the Netherlands. I’m passionate about all things magic and can often be found dreaming about fictional worlds. The greatest love of my life is storytelling and I’ve been reading and watching stories ever since I can remember. ✨

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