If you promise not to laugh I will let you in on a little secret: years ago, I used to be a pet photographer. This is a real profession and some high-end pet photographers make a lot of money from it. The trouble was, I was never very good at selling products to clients and tended to talk them out of buying the beautiful – but expensive – wall canvases that would have shown off my images perfectly. Whoops. I spent a lot of time wandering around London, photographing my own dog in iconic places.
(No, Josephine was not particularly amused by the 4.30 am start. She didn’t mind the jumper and balloons.)
The best thing that I took away from that little life experience was the friends. It turns out that, much like the blogging community, the pet photography community is a wonderfully inclusive space populated by people who are happy to share their knowledge, refer potential clients and laugh over dinner about precious owners and the pain of cloning out leashes. That is what I missed when I gave up pet photography: the people.
Mummy blogging has filled that gap for me. Anyone who’s ever had a baby will probably recognise what a thankless task looking after a little one often is, and with twins it was double the drudgery. But writing about the good bits, and photo-documenting their growth, has connected me to the most incredible, inspirational groups of people. I have grown so much as a person and as a creative talent since birthing the twins and beginning my blog and I will always be grateful for the circumstances that lead me to start sharing their stories on the internet.
I discovered Hiive when I was invited to join and look around recently. My initial impression of the website has been positive; Hiive does what it says on the tin, it brings people together. I love the idea of ‘swarms’, which are a bit like facebook groups or twitter lists. And when I started looking around I found many familiar blogging faces who had clearly discovered Hiive too and so I was able to follow them and see what they were up to.
I’ve been a chronic chatterbox all of my life and people are a powerful motivator for me; community is important. I need to be able not only to do my job but to talk about how I do it, to share and to learn and yes, in down time, to have a good giggle. That’s why Hiive is so compelling to me, because it’s filled with people who find what they do to be really interesting. They’re not JUST talking about it, either – they’re also recruiting. Hiive has its own active recruitment area where real organisations, such as Harrods, are looking to hire creative folks like us. Pretty cool.
I’m not entirely convinced that there is such a thing as a work-life balance, particularly once one considers that my creative job, blogging, is actually a second job on top of the first one, so it’s vital for me that every aspect of my day – work included – is enjoyable and motivating. I’m fortunate in that I love my day job as much as my blog job but for those that don’t and are looking to immerse themselves in the creative fields, Hiive could be an ideal solution for them. Personally I was surprised by how many jobs there were on offer and several would have seemed rather intriguing for me were I not so attached to what I’m doing right now.
Are you a member of Hiive? Come on over and follow me, and I’ll follow you back.