A natter with Zabby Allen from The Procrastination Paper
I’m so excited to be having a natter with Zabby Allen from The Procrastination Paper on my blog today – yay! I have been a huge fan of Zabby’s for a long time now, and had the pleasure of meeting her in real life at Blogtacular in 2018. She is a super talented creative who works on so many amazing projects (I’ll let Zabby you a bit more about those in this mini interview). She started writing The Procrastination Paper to encourage people to #WasteSomeTimeOffline and recently decided that this will be her main personal project, which I think is amazing! In this mini interview we also talk about Zabby’s inspiration, how she started The Procrastination Paper and what she does to #WasteSomeTimeOffline, and I know you’re going to love getting to know her a bit more. Zabby is currently on a mission to recruit 100 new subscribers before Christmas, and there’s a bit more info about that at the end of this post so do check that out!
Describe your work in 3 words.
Colourful, collaborative, varied.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the people I feature in the Paper – I’m usually in such a rush to get the magazine edited that it’s only when I come back to issues a month or two later that I really get to appreciate them fully myself. The honesty and creativity of my contributors never fails to amaze me!
How did you first get the idea for The Procrastination Paper?
I had the idea for the Procrastination Paper on a train to Wales. My best ideas always come when I’m not working! I’d taken the month off freelance work in order to give myself time to figure out where I wanted to take my business and had got as far as realising that my passion was in print – I knew I wanted to make my own magazine! I’d been thinking a lot about the amount of time I spent staring at my screen and had downloaded an app which told me I’d spend 4 hours on my phone most days. I was horrified by the discovery! As I sat on the train, I started to think about what I was actually doing during those 4 hours… and the answer was procrastinating on Instagram. I started to think about the ways in which I used to procrastinate, before I had social media… and decided that they were much more fun. Then and there I scrapped the original plans I was making for my magazine and started work on what would become the Procrastination Paper, to help others procrastinate in a more positive way.
What do you love most about creating The Procrastination Paper?
I love getting to share other people’s stories. When I approach people to write an article for the Paper often they declare “I’m not a writer” or apologise for their writing when they send through their piece. But I believe that we can all be writers and we all have a story to tell. I’m in a privileged position to be able to share the stories and creativity of others with a wider audience.
I also cut all of the titles and cover illustrations out by hand, from real paper, for each issue. I wanted at least part of the process to be handmade. I’m always in a rush to get it all done, but cutting out those tiny little letters feels like my own little bit of offline procrastination each month – even if I do often have Netflix or a podcast on in the background while I’m doing it…
What’s your favourite way to #WasteSomeTimeOffline?
Going for a walk. Nothing clears my mind and motivates me more than being on top of a hill or in the depths of a forest! We recently adopted a street dog from Morocco and she gives me the opportunity to go outside and get muddy every single day, which is brilliant!
You also work on The Happy News with Emily Coxhead and run In Colourful Company with Toni Bee. How do you juggle working on multiple creative projects?
Often not very successfully! Last year I experienced some burnout and decided that I had to be kinder to myself and cut out some work. A couple of my jobs naturally came to an end (at Lucky Dip Club and Caboodle Magazine), which was good timing, and I left the part time illustration agency job I had. This year we hosted three In Colourful Company Colour Walks and I created a ‘Stumped’ travel guide for each city we visited. It was a lot more work than I’d anticipated, and after those I had to take a bit of a step back whilst I moved home and got organised. This week I’m juggling editing The Happy News and the Procrastination Paper and it’s not ideal – I’m determined to plan my time better next year so that I’m only ever working on one job at a time. A combination of bullet journals, Google calendar and lots of colour coding is my trick for organisation!
What’s next for The Procrastination Paper?
I’ve just created a secret member’s area of my site where subscribers can go to find discounts and deals from other subscribers who own businesses – I can’t wait to share it with people as there are some wonderful people involved! I’m currently on a mission to up my subscriber numbers as I stopped selling all of my other products this year in order to concentrate on the Paper and I need a bit of financial stability back! Later in 2020 I really want to bring the Procrastination Paper into the real world with some events too!
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their creative journey?
Follow your passions and do the work, but remember that time off is just as important as time working. Don’t forget to check in with yourself once in a while and ask yourself if what you are doing is making you happy and what you really want to be pursuing.
Yay! Thank you so much for chatting to me, Zabby!
I hope you have enjoyed having a natter with Zabby Allen from The Procrastination Paper as much as I have.
As I said earlier, Zabby is currently on a mission to get 100 new subscribers to The Procrastination Paper by Christmas, and I would love to help her reach her goal! The paper is colourful, creative and informative (I had no idea that Zabby hand cuts all the letters until now – amazing!) and it would make a brilliant Christmas present for creative people in your life or even just for yourself. It’s really wonderful to have this drop on your doormat once a month, and I know that you will love it. Visit Zabby’s website to find out all of the info, and don’t forget to follow @zabbyallen and @theprocrastinationpaper on Instagram too for lots of colour and inspiration.
A big thank you again to Zabby, and good luck reaching your target – you’ve got this!
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