In case you’re new around here {or somehow managed to miss my incessant social media updates while I was away}, last month I returned from six weeks in Australia. Before I departed, I had a vague plan to work ON my business rather than IN it while I was away.

‘Although I’ve completed all my client work until mid-August, I’m taking my laptop with me and I plan to spend some time writing while I’m away. I’ll still be responding to enquiries and I’d like to think I might book the odd client or two.’


Letters From Love Audrey, July 2022

Well, spoiler alert, that didn’t happen.

I pictured myself writing in cafes, dreaming up new ideas and planning launches. In reality, I lugged my laptop to the other side of the world and opened it twice the whole time I was away. I responded to a handful of emails and issued a couple invoices, but I didn’t write anything longer or more complex than an Instagram caption. There were no new ideas, no lightbulb moments. I didn’t even really think about work that much.

Guilt crept in a few times. I also had the odd wobble about money {although this was largely fuelled by talk of the impending cost-of-living crisis rather than my actual bank balance, depleted as it was}. For the most part, not working felt good. More than good, it felt amazing.

On Becoming a Lady of Leisure

It may sound ridiculous, but my business, my brand and the work I do is such a massive part of my life and identity, I wasn’t sure who I’d be without them, even if only for six weeks. What would I think about if I wasn’t thinking about work?

In the end, switching off was easier than I thought it would be. I felt a bit untethered at first, especially while I was waiting for Carl and the kids to join me, but I soon found my feet. I thought I’d miss writing every day, but I didn’t. It was refreshing to focus on inputs rather than outputs, soaking up inspiration without the pressure to create.

The ease with which I was able to step away is a strong indicator of how desperately I needed a break. I’ve been working or studying {or both} non-stop since I was 14 years old. Even when my children were born, I didn’t take maternity leave in the traditional sense, returning to college when Izzy was 9 weeks old and sitting my university finals when Jesse was 11 weeks old. {Of course, even if I had been able to take some time out, maternity leave isn’t the leisurely break many people seem to think it is!}.

Having children so young and juggling motherhood alongside university also means my twenties were a lot more serious and grown-up than they were for many of my peers. Before launching into their careers, I watched my friends take gap years and go off travelling while I potty trained a toddler and spent nap times writing essays.

I never felt jealous at the time, but looking back, it seems the thing I really missed out on was the time and space to consider what comes next, to figure out who you are and what you want. Not that everyone ends their twenties knowing the answers to these questions, just that it’s a decade well suited to considering them.

I started my business straight out of uni, and although I’ve always been pretty good at stepping away for short periods during the summer and at Christmas, I’ve never switched off so completely before. Then there’s the small matter of the pandemic. I don’t need to tell you how that went down.

None of this is unique to me, I’m sure. We’ve all worked hard. We’re all exhausted, for one reason or another. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m deeply grateful for the pause. When I think about summer 2022, the word that comes to mind over and over again is ‘spacious’. My life has never felt so spacious before. So expansive and brimming with possibility.

What Did I Learn?

In the online business world, there’s a great deal of pressure to immediately transform experiences into a neat, succinct list of key takeaways. What did I learn from the experience? What can you, the reader, learn?

If I did this now, a month after our return, it would be surface level stuff. I know I could turn it into a good read, but the thing is, for me, this experience was far from surface level. It was deep. Profound. Transformative.

Post-Covid travel. My first time leaving the UK since July 2018. My first time seeing my sister since November 2019. Spending more time with her than I have in around 15 years. Becoming an auntie to her much longed for first child. Filling our days with things that felt unreal and impossible just 18 months ago. Marvelling at the vastness of the world, and Australia in particular, after living so small for so long.

In many ways, it already feels like a dream. I was a different person in Australia, living a make-believe life with minimal responsibilities. I felt lighter. Less stressed. Happier than I’ve been in years. I’m still figuring out why and whether any of this can be recreated now we’re home.

So, I can’t give you a neat list of things to do. I can’t tell you how to replicate what I’ve done in your own business. I can tell you it was worth the hard work to make it happen and that I’d like to do it again some time. I can also thank you for cheering me on.

Now that I’m back, I’m excited for the months ahead. As well as working on website copy and content for clients, I’m booked to deliver two online workshops this autumn. I’m also thinking about launching a service for new and aspiring copywriters. I’ve always offered mentoring informally, but I think it might be time to make it official. Watch this space!

Love Audrey xxxx

P.S. Read Notes From a Summer Sabbatical – Part 1

P.P.S. A version of this post originally appeared in Letters From Love Audrey, my monthly newsletter filled with creative inspiration for you and your business. If you’ve enjoyed reading this and would like more of the same in your inbox, you can sign-up here.

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