I've been in your shoes many a time Hazeyjane, I grown mine then get it cut then grow it again then get it cut all the time. I would suggest you go to a very good highly recommended hairdresser with no pictures/photos etc and ask for their advise in how to manage the growing period. Yes, have an idea of what you want the final result to be but this stage is not good although with today's trends of clips etc, it's much easier that it was a decade ago. Good luck.
I have short hair, I just googled short crop hair styles until I found what I liked. I started with a Sarah Harding, then moved to a short Michelle Williams. I 'm currently a longer Michelle Williams, thinking what to do next!