Inside the Studio
Behind the scenes, resources, and thoughts
One year of Studio Wednesday
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A personal story about my journey as a storyteller and what I’ve learned so far.
As I sit down to reflect on Studio Wednesday, where it is now, where it was then, I can’t help but focus on my own journey. Of course, I am the only one behind Studio Wednesday, but this year has been more than cultivating a brand. More than maintaining a website or building a list of clients. This has been a year for me.
When I decided to start Studio Wednesday, I had just been made redundant at my normal, nine-to-five type of job. Let me be clear, I wasn’t crying about leaving the company that had filled my days with anxiety and dreams with nightmares. But I did cry. Because, if not a stable job with a monthly paycheck, then what? Sure, the job search did happen, but nothing was right. Even the job I had just been asked to leave was not right. And looking back at my previous experience didn’t help either. There was never truly anything that felt right. I had spent my adult life trying to fit into spaces that felt more like cages. But there was nothing really to complain about, so I didn’t.
It wasn’t until I faced the reality of not being employed that I realized maybe I had another choice. To take a chance on me, on a random thing I had tried a few times that filled me with joy.
When I began Studio Wednesday, I knew I was ignorant. I knew I was new to this world. I knew that I was taking a risk into the unknown. And, if I had known just how deep that ocean of unknown was that I was jumping into, I probably wouldn’t have taken the leap.
In the beginning, I tried my best to be “safe,” I decided I would be a voice-over artist, just a voice-over artist. And the first place, literally, the first ever place I emailed asking if they needed a voice like mine, asked me to write a sample story as well. 500 words later, I was officially hired as an author.
The past year has been more learning, more heartache, more struggle than I had ever anticipated. But it is the most free I have ever felt. The long-lost child inside me, who would tell stories throughout dinner, read stories incessantly, and watch movies like they were assigned homework, was now creating her own stories. And helping others bring theirs to life.
After one year of floating around this infinite ocean of storytelling and creativity, there are a few things I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that I’m a gardener to my stories. I do not architect, I sit and write, and just like the reader, I find out where the story goes as I type.
I’ve learned that not everyone who wants stories is willing to put a (fair) price tag on them.
I’ve learned that you can only ask your friends to watch, read, or listen to your work so many times.
I’ve learned that your voice is as good as your equipment (and space) and your knowledge of how to use it.
I’ve learned that good relationships can lead to jobs and that not all jobs are black and white.
I’ve learned that in creative work, to survive, there has to be a point where you disconnect who you are from what you create.
I’ve learned that my voice is (almost) always chosen because of its natural tone and is a bit more feminine than I like to admit.
I’ve learned that my best stories come from the heart, as well as the scary dark place deep inside of me that enjoys exploring the taboo.
I’ve learned that I can never get botox because as I narrate stories, my exaggerated expressions help me carry emotion through my voice.
And most of all, I’ve learned that I am, finally, exactly where I am supposed to be.
It’s been a very long year, and not all learnings have been easy. There are several behind-the-scenes, not-talked-about moments. Like the dread of finishing a project without another one lined up, wondering if I’ll work again. Or crying over an Excel spreadsheet trying to make sense of my taxes. Or listening to my voice repeatedly while I edit a take, and my ears start ringing.
So, what’s my takeaway from one year of Studio Wednesday? To be in a constant state of learning is a privilege. That, especially in creative work, It’s a good thing if you’re able to look back and roll your eyes at something you created months, even weeks ago. That the most important thing is to keep moving forward, pushing yourself to refine your craft, and always keep your eyes on the horizon. A horizon that may change as you grow into your creativity, your stories, yourself, but the ocean beneath you will always be the same.
At the beginning of the year, I would describe my vulnerability and stress navigating this newfound career as being in the middle of that ocean, completely naked, completely alone. But now, I have a raft. I have a compass, and the sharks down below are getting familiar with my presence.
I am eternally grateful for those who have trusted me with their stories, for those who’ve read my words and listened to my voice.
It’s been one year since I started Studio Wednesday, and I can’t wait for more.
That’s all for now. Chat soon.
Caitie from Studio Wednesday