A Day With... Annika Spalding
Today we are spending a day with Annika Spalding. I was really keen to have Annika contribute to this as a REALLY do not know how she manages to do so much! Annika is an award wining author, her latest book "Whats Your Story" was published in August this year and is the type of book that aim to give you some tools to get out of your comfort zone and get writing. Annika is a writing coach AND a university student, she does this whilst raising her two intelligent and supportive daughters and lighting up our timelines with positive energy that is authentic.
Annika also supports budding writers via twitter chats and her Facebook group! Annika are you affected by kryptonite or....
I set my alarm for…. 6.30am and 6.45am. Then 7am and 7:15am. You get the idea…
I actually get up at… About 7.30am. Listen, I’m not made for early mornings, I never was. I try to stay in bed for as long as I possibly can. I never feel like I have enough sleep so will happily snooze for an extra 10 minutes if the opportunity is there.
My morning ritual(s) is/ are... I reach for my phone, check my notifications (I know, it’s bad, I know) and then think about what I have on my agenda for the day.
What do you do next... Roll out of bed, walk to the bathroom and set the bath. I tend to poke my head round my children’s bedroom door to see if they’re awake yet (unlikely) and then I go downstairs and pop the kettle on. A weak tea in a cup with a lid and straw is a great incentive to get my two out of bed. Don’t judge me.
To wake my kid(s) up I…. Walk in and sing “Good morning babies. It’s wake up time. WAKE UP!” My 8-year-old has adopted the sleeping habits of a teenager so getting her up for school takes a lot of effort. My 5-year-old is easily encouraged to get up with the promise of a hug (such a mummy’s girl).
For breakfast I have… A green smoothie. I never used to eat fruit on its own, always in a cake! But I decided that I needed to increase fruit and vegetables in my diet, so a smoothie is a great way for me to do this. There’s no way I’d sit and eat a bowl of strawberries, but I’d have them in a smoothie and drink that happily.
If I have a meeting in the morning, I usually arrange it at a place I can order a breakfast – which is usually a veggie breakfast. Scrumptious.
My go to outfit is… Leggings, a baggy top and my dressing gown, if I’m staying in my house. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that? Dressing gowns are life! If I’m going out to a networking event or one of my own events, I tend to wear a nice dress really. One that isn’t too dressy or shows too much skin, but enough to let people know that I’m classy and bossy in equal amounts. Issa skill.
I chose my career/ job / business because… I love writing. I love helping people. I love working to my own schedule. It was a no-brainer for me. I think I could have been a Writing Coach sooner, I was just majorly lacking in confidence. As much as I post on social media all the damn time, I felt a bit funny about posting about myself as a business. I worried that I’d get it wrong and wouldn’t be good enough, that I wasn’t qualified or that people wouldn’t take me seriously. Even though I’m an author, Imposter Syndrome was taking over! But at the start of this year I decided to go for it, just to see what happens if nothing else. I’m very driven and ambitious, sometimes the only thing that is stopping me is just that I don’t know how to do it. Once I’ve figured it out, whatever it is, I’m out there making it happen. And that’s how I made the decision to get out of my own way and be a Writing Coach.
Describe your typical work day…. A typical work day - does that exist? *stares into the distance*
I usually make a list of what I need to do that day. I have an accountability buddy for my business and we speak every week, which helps me to stay on track to achieving my goals. So my tasks are created around whatever goal I’m working towards in every 12 week period. (It sounds complicated but it really isn’t).
I usually have consultations via Skype booked in the morning. I’ll respond to emails and send a few. If I have an event or workshop to promote, I usually do that over on Facebook. I have scheduled posts but I love live interaction too, it just feels more personal. Remember, I’m a Writing Coach, right? So I do a lot of reading, which means reading through work my clients have sent me and sending them feedback to help move their books forward.
I’ll have lunch and a browse on Instagram, then if I don’t have a client booked for the afternoon, I’ll either do some housework or some food shopping. I can’t concentrate for long periods of time and I have a house to run, so I combine the two in my working day.
Once it’s time for the school run, I clock into mummy mode until my children go to bed. I rarely do work between 3pm and 8pm because that’s their time. In the evenings, I either have a client session, or do a Facebook live, post in my online writing group and finish off the list of jobs.
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Oh, and I also return to uni soon so that’ll be three days each week dedicated to lectures and study. #WhatIsSleep?
For lunch I… Well, there’s this place local to me that does the sexiest lamb dinner. I have a working lunch there twice a month. But if I’m home, it can be anything from a fish finger sandwich (my current fave) to just warming up the leftovers from last night’s dinner.
My biggest career related achievement is… My biggest achievement is having so many achievements, which makes it impossible to pick one. I’m incredibly blessed but I’ve worked hard to get here. Mostly on myself because there was a time when I couldn’t even look at myself in a mirror, and now I can stand in front of a crowd of people and speak with confidence.
I dread work when… I’m in a low mood and having a visit from anxiety. I can work through it for the most part but it makes everything feel hard.
If I could exchange my career/ business for any career / business in the world it would be… This made me think. What I’m doing now is bigger than anything I ever hoped for myself, and when I was in employment I actually did my dream job (Children & Family Support Worker in a women’s refuge). I think I’d be Mariah Carey for the day, just to have access to that wardrobe and to indulge in the full diva experience. I’m so ready for that life.
At the end of the work day I… Plug my headphones into my phone, find a playlist on Spotify and then have a good dance in my living room. I call it my one-woman disco. My friends laugh, but it gives me life. I could be dancing away a bad day or be moved by good vibes, it’s just good to move freely like that. (I don’t know if I’m any good, I don’t think it matters.)
The first thing I do when I get home is… Find my slippers and my dressing gown.
My go to dinner is... Anything I didn’t have to cook myself (if I really can’t be bothered) or pasta and something (because the kids will eat it).
I unwind with… a swift removal of my bra so I can properly relax, a hot chocolate, a Netflix series to watch and my King to cuddle. (He exists, y’all.)
Before I go to bed I… Go into my children’s room, tuck them in, kiss their faces and feel pretty good about how well I’m raising these little people. It’s not easy, co-parenting isn’t easy, life isn’t easy, but I’m doing it and doing it well. A moment of acknowledgment and gratitude before you go to bed can certainly aid a good night’s sleep.