Specialising in entertainment, celebs and all things showbiz, I’m well into my second decade contributing to magazines like Glamour, Grazia, Good Housekeeping, Notebook and Stylist. Writing and talking are my favourite things so there’s no job that suits me better. Living on the Essex border with husband B and daughter Little B, I’m a Cumbrian turned Londoner who’s zig-zagged the globe interviewing some remarkable personalities, and the charmed life I’ve led is not lost on me.
But the world turns and priorities shift. After having Little B and going freelance, something happened. I started to flag. Struggling to give a toss about Kim Kardashian’s rubber-clad rump breaking the internet, or what some washed up 80s popstar promoting a supermarket brand of lipstick had had for breakfast, I stopped putting my all into my career. Uncharacteristically though, I didn’t transfer my energy anywhere else and my all-round productivity hit the skids. Whether I like to admit it or not, I’m what you call a *whisper it* high achiever (albeit a hugely self-critical one). I’m a doer, a performer, someone who’s curious by nature. I like the way that winning feels so whether it’s a Brownie badge, a marathon or a 5000 piece jigsaw, it’s unusual for me not to be working towards some kind of goal.
That’s when it dawned on me I needed a new challenge. When I’m in challenge mode I’m the best version of myself (unless it’s playing Cranium, and I’m the worst), so I had to start achieving again. Setting myself the goal of doing one thing every day that either bettered me as a person, knocked something off my things-to-do list, or added value to that day, I figured those daily wins would make me more effective in all aspects of my life. It seemed to work. Blogging about it locked me in and this new attitude to embracing life gave me my fizz back. Not only that, it reminded me that talking and writing are STILL my favourite things, so now, because I’m a big advocate of doing what you love, I’m doing much more of it professionally too.
I don’t eat insta-perfect meals every night, I’m not a size 8 and my kid strops from time to time. Often I bicker with my husband and my carpets get hoovered with less frequency than they should. My confidence fluctuates, I worry too much about what other people think and, after 15 years of writing professionally, I still have a terrible grasp on where to put a comma. Fear of getting it wrong might be my Achilles heel but I’ve had enough of it holding me back. Finally I’ve realised that you learn a lot from your mistakes so it’s well worth ‘having a go’. Doing stuff is better than not doing stuff, and, as much of a cliché as it is to say, life is too short to wonder what you’re capable of. You only get one chance on this big ball of rock and water and I’m so bloody lucky to live the life that I do; if I don’t wring every drop of goodness and potential out of it, I don’t deserve to have it.