29 December 2018

Reflection on 2018

Rather than focus on my achievements for the month, now felt like a good time to reflect on my biggest achievements of 2018. So… what went well?

What Next? (AKA Goals for 2019)

I plan to keep things simple in 2019 as I will be working full-time until summer break. So here are my three goals for 2019:

  1. Personal: there will be no diets and no crazy exercise regimes… instead I will simply ask myself “what would a healthy person do?” I’m also committing to a monthly massage starting next week.

  2. The Teaching Space: I will write and publish book two and continue growing the podcast and releasing episodes consistently.

  3. Martine Makes: I will focus on making art prints and stationery in 2019.

My theme for the year is: health and wellbeing.

1 December 2018


I’ve just realised that I have updated my ‘now’ page every month for a whole year. I am so pleased with that!

Here are a few of my achievements for the month:


  • I have a solid book launch plan; the book is currently with my launch team and I am waiting for feedback to come in.

  • I need to start the next book in January.

  • Martine Makes has had a good sales month - I am still not quite sure of what this personal/creative brand of mine wants to be but I am quite happy leaving it morph for now.

  • My bookkeeping is still up-to-date.

  • My phased return to work is nearly over. I am tired. However, I am really enjoying my new job.

  • I am now attending one exercise class a week. I plan to increase to two soon.

What Next?

  • Start coming up with ideas for my new book.

  • Set goals for 2019.

What Am I Reading?

30 October 2018


October has also been a recovery month. I’m nearly 2 months post-spinal op and am proud to have taken things slowly. I am definitely feeling the benefit. My back and leg are feeling good and this week I’ve started feeling more energetic.

Here are a few of my achievements for the month:

  • I released a brand new digital product on Martine Makes: Simple Watercolour Leaf Stamps for Procreate.

  • I’ve been making art on my iPad regularly (mostly lettering and digital watercolour).

  • I got my bookkeeping up-to-date - whoop!

  • My phased return to work has started and I am managing my energy well (although it was a bit of a shock to the system).

  • I’ve started cooking again!

  • I have half a chapter left of my book to write…

What Next?

  • I plan to gradually increase my exercise and activity levels.

  • My book will be finished and hopefully edited by this time next month.

What Am I Reading?

1 October 2018


  • My September has been spent recovering from spinal surgery, so today’s ‘now’ post might look a little sparse!

  • My biggest achievement has been allowing my body time to recover. I’ve rested completely, and am finally seeing the benefits.

  • I have not freaked out about having 4 weeks off work (at the start of a new 1 year secondment) - thankfully my employer has been very supportive.

  • I’ve definitely felt the benefits of having podcasts recorded up until the end of the year during September.

  • While recovering I have managed to listen to LOTS of great books.

  • I’ve also completed some creative online courses and done lots of drawing on my iPad. I feel a new direction for Martine Makes forming.

What Next?

  • I want to continue making art daily.

  • I need to focus on getting my physical strength and fitness back.

  • I am looking forward to returning to work and finding my feet in an exciting, new role.

What Am I Reading?

1 September 2018


  • I've had a wonderfully creative summer!

  • The first draft of my book is finished. I am now doing my own edit, then will be sending it to a professional editor. It turned out to be a lot shorter than originally expected, but the content is great so I am happy with that.

  • Health-wise, the past month has been incredibly challenging - not so much in terms of pain, but getting my back operation sorted. It's now going ahead next week. Phew! My achievement is getting through it.

  • I've cycled less this month, but I've still been on my bike at least a few times a week.

  • I have podcasts recorded until the end of December.

  • My hedge veg stall has been very successful.

  • I completed the Seanwes 30 Days to Better Writing Challenge.

  • I also completed the Make it in Design Summer School and really got back in touch with surface pattern design as a result.

  • I introduced a new range of stationery products to my Martine Makes shop.

  • I moved my Martine Makes shop from Squarespace to Shopify and made my first sales.

  • I moved my email list from Converkit to MailChimp and am changing the format of my emails.

Currently Working On

  • Preparing mentally for a month of rest after my operation. There will be knitting, drawing and reading...!

  • Editing my book.

  • Reading ALL THE THINGS in preparation for the new subjects I will be teaching this academic year.

  • Keeping my creative activities going - making art and lettering.

  • Not freaking out about missing the first month of my new job.

What Next?

  • All of the above. I am not planning any more due to recovery time.

What Am I Reading?

1 August 2018


  • I have continued cycling and am still really enjoying it.
  • I am now on my summer break and have been doing some serious relaxation.
  • I've been making art as part of the Make it in Design ("MIID") Summer School.
  • I've been writing and recording.
  • I've made yarn (and sold yarn) and started my very own hedge veg stall selling succulents. 

Currently Working On

  • Cycling more.
  • Making art.
  • Writing.
  • Resting.
  • Bulk recording the podcast for next (academic) year.

What Next?

  • Aim for the month - finish my book (waking at 6am and writing daily).
  • Complete the Seanwes 30 Days to Better Writing Challenge.
  • Complete the MIID Summer School projects.

What Am I Reading?

1 July 2018


  • Despite having a bad month for pain, I have been to the gym (not daily) and I have also started cycling to work on my new e-bike.
  • My podcast download rate has tripled.
  • I had a guest blog post published by the Society for Education and Training and I have also been interviewed by them about becoming a Google Certified Trainer (coming soon!)
  • I have decided to complete and publish my book over summer break.
  • I got a new job! Next year I will be returning to work full time as CPD Manager and Scholarly Lead. It's a 1-year secondment. I am anxious about returning to work full-time, but it is a big job and doing it on a 50% or 75% basis would not have been sensible. It will present me with many challenges (some have already presented themselves!) but I plan to face them head-on.
  • Due to changes with the Etsy fee structure, I decided to move my online store for Martine Makes to Shopify. I am happy with how the store looks, I just need to boost the profile and start making sales (and more products).
  • I've made some small but significant changes to my home to reduce the amount of waste (particularly plastic) we produce. This fits so well with the ethos of Martine Makes.

Currently Working On

  • Cycling everywhere.
  • Resting when my body tells me I need to.
  • Reducing waste in my home. 

What Next?

  • My aim for The Teaching Space this month is to increase my email list. 
  • And then there's the book!
  • I'll also be planning the year for the podcast and bulk recording a lot.
  • On the home front, I am decluttering.
  • For Martine Makes - it's STOCK and profile raising.

What Am I Reading?

31 May 2018


  • I've managed to keep up my weekday morning gym habit and feel better for it.
  • The podcast production process is now running really smoothly and efficiently thanks to my fabulous VA, Tilly.
  • I've invested in some advertising for the podcast and am seeing results.
  • I had a book review published for UKEdChat this month and also appeared on their podcast.
  •  I've decluttered my office and made some positive lifestyle changes to improve my rate of recycling. 
  • I've started using HourStack with Asana and it is increasing my productivity.
  • I'm still journaling. 
  • I've done some writing! But not enough... 

Currently Working On

  • Regular workouts.
  • Getting all podcast episodes recorded in time for my summer break.
  • Writing for education publications. 

What Next?

  • I'm now planning to finish my book over the summer.
  • Also, I am planning some creative activities for the summer. 

What Am I Reading?