Honest Mum

Updated post.

Be who you want to be. Sounds so simple right, and actually it can be.

You are who you think you are, or in other words, you can be exactly whomever you want to be.

So much of success and importantly, happiness, is borne from a small kernel of self belief or at the very least, projecting the hopes you can be whomever you like onto the world. A fake it until you make it stance until you truly feel it.

The act of simply having the confidence, feigned or real, to step out of your norm, to stop that negative voice telling yourself you can’t be a ‘…fill in the blank’: writer, blogger, actor, doctor, lawyer, artist… and JUST believing you can and going for it, honing your voice, studying etc garners results: AMAZING, life-changing results.

I know it’s worked for me and millions of others.

As a 21 year old studying for an MA in Screen Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London 13 years ago, the only one in my class never to have directed drama before, I was overcome with fear that I would FAIL spectacularly.

I’d written a short screenplay as part of my course that my lecturers felt was touching, funny and topical (about Greek and Turkish Cypriot warring kebab shop owners in London) yet I wasn’t sure I could get it to work off paper and onto the screen.

I put the work in, read every book I could on directing, I shadowed directors on set and directed one day shoots for myself (my first was an absolute flop but I quickly discovered that growth and enlightenment was synonymous with making mistakes).

I surrounded myself with an accomplished, experienced team when it came to shooting my film but the greatest thing, along with having all-important passion of course, was telling myself on my lecturers’ advice (over and over) that, ‘I AM A DIRECTOR’ -and then becoming one.

Those simple words…’I am a director’ even when I didn’t feel it in my bones and certainly hadn’t yet proved it, yet overwhelmingly wanted with all my heart, set the wheels in motion. Those words gave me purpose and ammunition.

Taking the bull by the horn, I fought the crippling fear we creatives seem to all suffer from in some way or other, and rose to the challenge.

I found the strength on set to lead a professional, renowned crew, drew what others deemed moving performances from my actor,s and the film was a success earning me a distinction in my MA and much more…

‘Rifts’ won awards at film festivals internationally, got the attention of some of the world’s biggest film producers and then when I’d bagged my first job in the film industry at distributors Redbus, now Lionsgate UK, it led to quite frankly life-changing experiences, with many doors opening and a career as a multi-award winning director making short films, drama, documentaries, music videos and commercials…

I started my blog Honest Mum in November 2010 whilst on maternity leave as a way to reconnect with my creativity at a time when I felt utterly broken post traumatic birth with my first child, Oliver. I had a need to write.

Tapping words away on my laptop and unexpectedly finding others who understood me, along with an unexpected audience outside of my inner circle, was exciting, reassuring and a much-needed confidence boost at an all-time low in my life.

And there I was, still conveying emotion on screen as I would when writing and directing, on just a smaller, no-less powerful screen!

…My confidence slowly returned (helped hugely by becoming a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards 4 weeks after my first post went live)-and although I didn’t set out to create a business when I began, by the time my second child, Alexander was born, my blog had become my full time job.

Now, I’m still a filmmaker, (I will never not be one, it’s in my blood, it’s a big part of who I am) but I’m also a full time professional blogger, a businesswoman, a presenter and a mother- my most important job of all.

I’m whomever I want to be. My goals have shifted since having kids and who says at the age of 21, we should still want the same things later in life anyway?

We change, the world changes and that’s the beauty of getting older, we can adapt and most importantly redefine who we are, or want to be.

Funnily enough once I’d become a filmmaker, I pigeonholed myself, restricting and limiting my choices, seeing myself through a limited lens.

I let the industry I was in, the film and TV world, my colleagues and myself, dictate who I could be. I was a filmmaker so couldn’t be on camera, or write out of genre for example.

I was stuck.

Blogging told me otherwise.

I could be whomever I wanted to be, whenever I wanted, on my terms and in my time and I could appropriate many job roles and often simulataneously.

It was just down to me.

Yes the internet is democratic, the playing field has levelled (thankfully), but whatever sphere you’re in, don’t limit yourself.

Now go tell yourself in the mirror, or on paper, or simply in your head, that you’re exactly who you want to be- an author, a designer, an entrepreneur, a painter, a writer, a blogger-now, it’s time tell the world.


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Be Who You Want To Be - Honest Mum



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222 Responses

  1. Emma

    I love this post. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? To not try and squeeze ourselves into whatever box the world wants us to. To accept ourselves as we are – whether we’re the person experiencing hair loss who’s sick of wearing wigs, the shy person who’s happy to sit in silence or the extrovert who’s sick of being told to ‘pipe down’ in the office. Of course, it’s hard not to let other people’s jibes get to us. But it’s important to focus on what matters: how we see ourselves. And whether that’s striving to reach our full potential or being happy with who we are/what we’ve got right now, it still means remaining unaffected by external forces or pressure.

    So thanks, Vicki, for being who you want to be – and for empowering others to do the same!

    Emma 🙂

  2. jodie filogomo

    Such fabulous advice, for any age really. Sometimes we get put into categories by society, yet we are all so different and unique!!

  3. Kimmy Laboca

    Love this post. I am about to have my second girl and hopefully *crossing fingers* I’ll have enough time to start writing a new blog. 🙂

  4. Rebecca

    Such an inspiring post – and I’ve been more in this headspace since becoming a mum, too. Love reading your blog. x

  5. Jess

    Such an important yet simple tool. Sometimes we need to “fake” it… most of us are I think in some way or at some point. We are all in this together!

  6. Abi Shepherd

    This reminds me very much of a post I wrote a little while ago called I am a writer – so its time I started acting like one (or something like that). Self-belief is so important, but so is other people’s belief in you. I’ve had great support since I made the decision to become a freelance writer. Great post. Very inspiring.

    • Honest Mum

      Wonderful Abi and I’d love to read your post, will you leave the url here so I can please and thanks for your comment x

  7. Topfivemum

    Another inspirational post Vicki. Love it. I’d also say this goes for many of the challenges we face in life. You have the strength to get through it, you just don’t know it yet. That’s what I tell friends who feel like they can’t cope whenever hardship strikes.

  8. Sophia Blanc

    A great inspirational article, Vicki! I’ve just discovered your blog via Top Mummy Bloggers 2016 list. I believe, you deserve to be on that list.

    You have touched the point with “be who you want to be”. I observe that many other mums be the person who the society wants them to be. They leave their ambitions and dreams behind to satisfy others.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Sophia, do you have a link to that list, I’d love to see it, how wonderful. Thank you for your comment, I think now working online gives mothers a flexibility and has moved us closer to equality in the workforce.


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