Be Your Own Hero

Every day our lives are saturated by outside sources of inspiration, motivation and influence; which is a fantastic and beautiful thing. I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for how easy it is to Google something when I need inspiration or ideas. When I’m working in my art journal it’s almost natural for me to look up Pinterest inspiration boards, when I need blog post ideas there’s about a thousand ways I can find them within seconds, and when I want to try a new makeup look, well, there’s a whole industry out there to influence me.


Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time. ~ Leonard Bernstein


This past month has seen me create more artwork, write more poetry, and take more photographs than I have in a long time. I have felt inspired and motivated, ready to take on so many different projects and goals. While you may think this is because I have opened up shop, started selling artwork and generally taking requests; it is actually the other way around. It is because of my inspiration that I have done these things. I seem to have tapped into a tiny, wonderful part of my brain responsible for giving me the drive I need. And while it almost certainly will not last forever, it is wonderful to have it for the time being.

So, how did I come by this? What am I doing? Perhaps I have a super fucking awesome Pinterest board which I’ll link you all to now? Okay I do have awesome Pinterest boards, but no. The answer is much simpler, yet harder I’m afraid.


I decided what I wanted to do, and I did it.


I know, life changing stuff huh? I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that before, but it’s okay, stick with me. I didn’t watch some amazing inspiration speech, I didn’t read a book that changed my outlook, I didn’t have some ‘Aha!’ moment while in the shower. I simply woke one morning and found that I weren’t completely happy with the day ahead. I knew that it wasn’t going to be The Best Day Ever; and knowing that kind of scared me. I’m not saying I was unhappy, just to be clear. I have the great pleasure of living with and sharing my life with a man who makes me feel deliriously filled with joy, I have friends who I love and a lot to be thankful for. But I still knew it wasn’t going to be particularly awesome that day, it would be ‘normal’.


I got thinking about normal, and what we accept as habit and day to day expectations. I wondered if I’d look back at my life in fifty years and regret this moment I’m living in right now. Maybe I’ll regret little things; not wearing my best clothes everyday, that make me feel awesome and colourful. Maybe I’ll regret bigger things like not travelling more and seeing the world. I was wondering what I would regret for each particular day actually, and one day I decided to stop wondering. I knew I had to let my heart make some more of my daily decisions, that way maybe I wouldn’t go as wrong and steer my life in a different direction.


So I wrote down what I wanted to do that day. I’m a To-Do list kinda girl at heart.

I wanted to cuddle Gary and laugh.

I wanted to do something creative.

I wanted to call my mum, and maybe check in with friends.


Nothing monumental happened that day; I started a small painting to pass some time, and it felt great. I believe Gary and I watched The Office (again), and laughed as we held hands and laid into each other. And I know I called my mum, and started a Snapchat war with a friend. All in all, a pretty basic day.


I went to bed very happy.

So when the next day came, I wrote down my list of things again. Not things that needed to be done, but things that I wanted from the day, and I’ve done it each day since.

Small changes have happened because of this tiny new way of approaching each day; I did not write a blog post when I didn’t feel like it, I changed my hair again and I filled up my art journal a little more. Big changes have happened around here too. I quit my full time job that I liked, and took up a part time one somewhere, so that I have the time and freedom to pursue something I love. I began taking professional approaches to things I wanted to do for my career. I gained two official clients. I have painted and drawn people for pleasure, and also sometimes for money as well; which, when you think about it, is pretty powerful. There are people willing to pay me to do something that keeps me up at 3am because I can’t bear to not be doing it.


I feel a little scared, and extremely hopeful.

I feel alive and a little more positive.

I feel in control too, which is hilarious because that’s just asking for trouble, right?


But all in all, I feel like fifty years from now I might not have as many regrets. I might actually make some pretty brilliant choices now. I might end up doing okay. I can’t say for sure, but I can say I’m less worried about it.


I’m still gonna read all the blog posts I can get my hands on about finding inspiration, and I’m gonna pin away anything that brings me motivation too.


But mostly, I’m going to stop looking for the world to bring something to me on a plate. I’m going to close my eyes, and let my mind see everything I need to see.

I’m going to be my own hero in this story.

Who will be the hero of your story?





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  • There is inspiration all around us! I love your post! You couldn't have said it any better Jemma. Again I rate you a 10! 🙂

  • EEE i'm so glad you're feeling so inspired 😀 At the end of the day, people can be the white knight and help but you've gotta be your own hero when the going gets tough to break yourself out of funks and ruts and all tat jazz.

    When I have the money I am def going to buy something from you. PROMISE.

    xo Fii || little miss fii

    • YOU ARE SO LOVELY! – I cant take it! hahaha. Aww thanks so much gorgeous! xxx

  • As I read this at 6am whilst I wake up for another 'normal' day, I feel every word you say and moved to make a change. Change can be scary but not if it's what you truly want. Thank you so much for this post! ����

  • Powerful words! They've given me plenty of food for thought. Thank you! ? Xx

  • This post is amazing Jemma. So often I wake up worrying and filled with anxiety over different things that are outside of my control, but I know now that I can control my actions and my thoughts and what I really want out of life and this was just the post I needed to read this morning – uplifting, powerful and inspirational and frank and honest too – thank you for sharing this! – Tasha

  • I absoultely love this post.
    So much beauty all around us, and in everything. Its just about finding what makes you happy- and doing it. Life is a wonderful thing when you think about it so why not make the most of what we have!

    You are such an inspiration- about inspiration!! ??

    Amanda ||

  • I LOVE this post. I think we all end up going with the flow at some point and it takes guts to just end that vicious cycle to do what we love. xxx

    – Rebekka,

  • This is such a great post Jemma and really inspiring.
    I have a similar stance on life, and especially in my work ethic.
    I left my old job because I didn't love it. It was good, and there were aspects I loved, but not everything. My new job – I adore.

    My main motivator to be honest is that I want to be my own hero, but also the hero for my children one day, and an inspiration to my sisters and to make my mum proud. Show her that her hard work bringing me up has paid off!

    Anyway – I loved this post – and I LOVE to-do lists, so I think I will take some of your motivation and turn it to my life too!!

    Lots of loving!

    Rach //

  • Oh my word, this is JUST what I needed to read today! Thank you, thank you, thank you. *Goes to make a cup of tea and then maybe conquer the world a bit *
    Anna x

  • love this post Jemma! Just reading it has been an inspiration to myself! I need to do something similar in my life so i want to thank you for what you have written! xx

  • I loved this post! Everything you've wrote about is so true, I think people in general need to believe in themselves more and give themselves more credit.

    Holly Olivia x

  • Adore this post! Agree with everything you've said. It's so easy to just carry on living, but not to the absolute fullest – i'm all about going out and making opportunities for myself now! Love to see that you are too because you're incredibly talented!

    Sharan |

  • You go lady! I am so fricking proud of you for taking the leap and doing something for you and not just because you 'have' to. I really hope that you continue to succeed with your artwork and that people appreciate the hard work and effort you put in every single day. Sending humongous hugs from down South!

    Amy xo

  • What a beautiful and inspirational post – so proud of you for sharing things like this and giving your readers such honesty!

    Jenna // bloglovin'

  • I love this post!! I need to learn to be more carefree, I never know when to stop or say no so I end up working constantly with no time for the things I love, like writing. I LOVE your hair in that picture!!


  • i think a lot of people need posts like this, because i know i did when i was younger. when i was 18, i knew what i wanted to do, so i went out and did it. and that was that. and i'm still doing it, and i love it. i know it's hard for some people to go out and be their own hero, but goddamn it, is it worth it.

    brooke | brooke elise

  • Amy

    Wow, this is such an amazing post! I really need to start living like this ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

  • "I can't bare not to be doing it." That is a very powerful statement and very inspiring.

    I hope to one day find the thing I can't bare not to do, cus right now actually all I really want is to be happy. Being happy for me is not being in pain and just being in the same room as my boyfriend, I love him dearly even after nearly 7 years together.

    Thank you for this post my love, it has made me think.

    Wendy x

  • Awww, this is just so lovely!!! Although the title made me think of that Friends episode where there’s that weird book and Rachel’s like “this book could have been called ‘Be Your Own Wind Keeper, Rachel'”
    But I love the sentiment of this!! xxxxx