That’s me. I’m your maker… well, on this site at least. Intimidating, right?
You’ve found your way to my unfiltered words. Welcome. If you want to know a bit more than a bit ‘about me’, read on. If not – that hyperlink is your ticket back to the mainland of top-line information. I won’t take it personally, promise.
People say the ability to write is like a muscle. It demands dedicated tensing, flexing and well-timed glimpses of reflection to properly develop.
In those glimpses, I’ve come to learn just how much different types of exercise will sculpt that literary tissue into different shapes. If not for the better, for a lesson to improve your form next time – at the very least.
I’ve always been a fan of written expression. At my parent’s house, there’s a deteriorating shoebox stowed above long (and gladly) forgotten formal dresses filled with diaries, letters and short stories that chronicle my childhood and early teenage years. It’s home to some of my earliest pearls of articulate wisdom, undoubtedly.
Like many privileged middle-class daughters of the 90’s, I came of age collecting magazines with shiny covers graced by the likes of Sarah Michele Gellar, Hanson and Beyoncé. My pop heroines taught me to want no scrubs, that my lover had to get down with my friends, and someone who thinks they’re Elvis or something won’t impress me much – a timeless teaching, thank you Ms Twain.
Editorial influences included Liz Tuccillo, Zoë Foster Blake and Andy Anderson (yes, she’s the fictional character played by Kate Hudson in ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ – still counts).
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I needed to be a writer-for-real, but the pull was more persistent than that of my previous aspirations (Age 6: Astronaut, Age 9: Archeologist – there’s still time). Accompanied by a healthy dose of youthful idealism, that pull saw me forge a career in communications where I’d work with Red Bull, UN Foundation, Dove, Magnum, Johnnie Walker and Intrepid Travel. My editorial exploits landed bylines in Huffington Post, Time Out, Cosmopolitan and Express UK; calling three countries home during my twenties and seeing a fair few more along the way.
During this time I also jumped into freelance projects that left me drained, overworked and underpaid, went through an unashamedly cliché travel blog phase, became a published author (for a guidebook but I’ll still claim it, thanks), feverishly chased and went on press trips (in pursuit of free food as much as travel to supplement aforementioned underpay), interviewed a NASA astronaut to the delight of my 6-year-old aspiration, and – for a little while – sold a bit of my soul to produce 6-8 articles a day for a national British tabloid.
Somewhere in between reporting on solutions for male-pattern baldness and squeezing 16 pars out of the busty girl’s latest ‘nippy’ update I lost my spark for writing.
Probably because I was unwittingly extinguishing it with an agenda-fuelled blowtorch. Go figure.
A few years on, the written landscape remains driven by the demands of a digital and ever-evolving world and our attention spans are rarely forced to extend beyond Instagram captions. But I’d like to think the human appetite for quality information, thought provocation and escapism still remains – and strengthening that literary muscle has proven the only endeavour to hold my attention.
So here I am, throwing a verbose needle into a virtual haystack with yet another blog post (and a longform one at that – #bold). I’ll share some learnings, pose some questions and welcome the same from you.
Exercising is much funner in a group setting, anyway.