Earlier this year, on Twitter, I met Susie. We hit it off straightaway, so I’m really pleased to welcome her as guest-blogger this week!
Susie is a thirty-something writer and blogger who currently lives in Glasgow with her husband and baby daughter. Her offbeat lifestyle blog: the Glasgowdragonfly, was founded in September 2013. Initially inspired by a love of eating, drinking, travel and people-watching, Susie set out on a mission to discover and report all things fabulous about Glasgow. Recently, she has introduced a ‘tales of the city’ series to the blog in which the real-life weird, wonderful and sinister characters she meets in pursuit of her daily business around the city and beyond are her protagonists. Susie has written many short stories over the years, as well as an as-yet unpublished children’s book.
How did you come to start your blog?
It might be best to start off by explaining why I didn’t set this blog up sooner! Writing, both fiction and non-fiction, has always been a great passion of mine, but until recently a hideously demanding day job (ironically, in the sphere of writing) was preventing me from even considering trying to find the time to set up a personal outlet for my musings, let alone write recreationally.
By 2011, with stress levels at an all-time high, I had essentially given up on my hobby. Last year though, thankfully, the inspiration genie returned! Whilst still on maternity leave I happened to be chatting to a new friend who told me about her brilliant parenting blog. As she talked, the veil began to lift and illuminate the previously mysterious world of blogging to me, and like an epiphany, my urge to get writing again became so great that I spent that same afternoon setting up the blog while my daughter purred in her crib. Pressing ‘publish’ on my first post was so nerve wracking. Within minutes my email account went ping! What awaited me was the start of a very pleasant surprise: a supportive online community, ever ready with frank and constructive feedback.
Getting back into writing has re-calibrated my perspective on life in general. I am not returning to my stressful job, and I realise as I reflect upon my posts how fortunate I am to be out and about gathering material as much as I am.
What’s the best thing about lifestyle blogging?
For me, the best thing is that anything goes. I was worried in the beginning about having to label my blog as being this or that genre, because I felt strongly that my wee corner of the internet should be a total mish mash of whatever interesting stuff crossed my path on any given day.
It could be a delicious meal out that I wanted to tell locals and visitors about; or something that gets my goat in the national news. I write what I would like to read about, and I think that a bit of variety in any blog probably keeps followers loyal. The only topic I won’t cover is parenting. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother, but I see Glasgowdragonfly as a little bit of mind space where I’m not defined or restricted in content by motherhood. While my baby sleeps, I write. Having said that, my little helper is usually by my side as I roam the streets of Glasgow looking for new material!
Any funny moments?
I recently wrote a post for my ‘tales of the city’ series, featuring a very hoity-toity Lady with whom I had the misfortune (or fortune, in blogging terms!) of chatting to whilst travelling in South Africa. The dialogue in my post reflected the real conversation, and so included some fairly old-school British terms, attitudes and social conventions in keeping with a bygone colonial era. I had to smile when a lovely American gentleman left a comment with 101 questions all of which essentially boiled down to ‘What does that word even mean?’ He himself concluded at the end of his comment that he would be just as quick looking them up online as asking me for enlightenment.
I guess what I loved most about his comment was that he highlighted to me that my Scottish-ness – or British-ness – won’t always translate to an international audience, and I am certainly more conscious of the need to bear the ‘international English language’ in mind. Or perhaps ‘keeping it real’ is part of the appeal!
Tell me about the blog award you are going in for.
I recently entered Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Best Newcomer Blog Award 2014; a special award for bloggers who have been up and running for less than a year.
This award appeals to me because Cosmopolitan, in creating it, seems to be encouraging blogs that aren’t necessarily mainstream. I hope that through drumming up nominations from the online community, my gauche little Glasgowdragonfly blog comes to the attention of the judges.
My own motivation for entering is a desire to chopper in amongst the stereotypical beauty and fashion entrants, and hopefully provide a fresh outlook on what it means to be a female blogger in 2014.
Blog, blog and more blog! I recently attended a script and playwriting course through Oxford University and so I may look at doing something with that later in the year. And my husband keeps badgering me to revisit my children’s book.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and extra huge thanks go to the lovely Linda for inviting me to feature on her blog!
Thank you, Susie!
And now here are the details of how we can support Susie by nominating her to win Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Best Newcomer Blog Award 2014.
*Nominations close at midnight on June 2nd!!*
*Voting now closed*
You can also follow Susie on Twitter @glasdragonfly and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org