2021 | A Reflection

Priya Padham
3 min readDec 31, 2021

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well and had a lovely holiday!

I thought I would wrap up 2021 with some thoughts and experiences that I wanted to share with you all. Let’s get into it!

Don’t be afraid to share your work

Have you ever seen an incredible viz on Twitter or Tableau Public and thought to yourself: “Yep, just going to tuck away this viz I’ve been working on now…”? If so, you are not alone! Before you retire your viz to the “Museum of Unfinished Vizzes”, remember this:

· You have your own style

· The way you create and your process is different than anyone else

· You have a unique perspective

I also know it can be easy to talk yourself out of doing something because it has already been done before. Whether that’s a viz, blog or anything else — I strongly believe that you shouldn’t be discouraged from sharing your unique voice. Think of it this way: you read a book from one author about a specific topic, and you then read a book from another author about that same topic. The second book resonates with you more and you are able to understand it much better, despite both books being about the exact same thing. I think this is so important to keep in mind, as someone out there will feel that way about your work. Everything you post enriches the community even more, even if you don’t realise it.

Remember to take a break

For anyone out there that feels like they wish they did more this year — whether that was to viz more, post more blogs or be more involved in general with the community — but things got in the way… I completely understand. I found myself experiencing burnout and becoming overwhelmed when trying to juggle too many things at once. It was also a tough year for my family and their health, so there were times where I just couldn’t focus on anything as I was so worried about them. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to keep producing, and we feel bad if we aren’t doing enough when everyone else seems to be creating amazing work, but taking a break to recharge is so important.

I also know sometimes you can feel disheartened if what you are working on isn’t going the way you planned, and that is completely normal. I’m sure we have all experienced the infamous “viz block” and know how frustrating it can be to not be able to bring your ideas to fruition, or even come up with an idea to begin with. But the truth is, it’s okay to have viz block. It’s okay not to viz all the time. This is why I think it is so important to take a step back sometimes, even though I know that can be hard. Taking a short break from a project can help you to look at it with fresh eyes and I have found this can also kickstart a spark of inspiration. It took me several months of viz block and a month of 4 failed attempts to finally create my last viz. It’s also important to remember that we tend to only see the final product that someone creates and not the process it took to create it, and your favourite vizzer may also be experiencing something similar. Be kind to yourself and view this as a marathon rather than a sprint, and it all becomes much less daunting!

I hope this helps anyone out there that may be experiencing something similar currently, even if it is just to know that you are definitely not alone. Please feel free to reach out for a chat anytime if you need anything!

Take care, everyone, and Happy New Year! 😊