|Arriving at the Awards|
The evening started with me walking into the Three Tuns, a pub around the corner from the venue (the Rose Club on Orchard Street, in case you're interested). It was heaving with people having post-work drinks, slaking their thirst before the journey home or settling in for an evening of sherbets and shenanigans. There is something about going into a pub in London at 5.30pm that to me is very thrilling, in a way that the same drinks in say, Reading or Slough would not be - can't think why.... Anyway, amongst all the suits I spotted two ladies who looked from their outfits like they were headed to the same place as me, so I grabbed a beer and wondered over to them to say 'hi'.
|Goody Goody Yum Yum|
Luckily for me I was right - they were two lovely fellow bloggers Miss Budget Beauty and Dolce Vanity. We formed a trio, hung out for the evening and when Dolce Vanity was announced as the winner in the Best Established Beauty Blog category it was fantastic to celebrate with her. As it turned out she was the only one of the three of us to walk away with a prize but I had a great night and tottered home with a goodie bag that was chock full of rather nice things.
I met lots of new people, made some good connections, and have since spent some time reading a few more of the shortlisted blogs as well as catching up on some old favourites. The range of topics is incredible with some people sharing pretty much every waking moment of their lives and others specialising in one field. What really stands out in their writing is not product reviews, fashion tips or best cupcake (oh when are we going to be free of the damn things!) recipes, but when they speak from the heart about things that are important to them. I have read moving accounts about mental health, hilarious posts on childbirth and passionate pleas for us to be kinder to one another. It's not all ultra-earnest either. One of my favourite blogs is from a shepherd who runs team building events built around herding sheep.
Pretty much everyone of these blog authors feel absolutely free to write about whatever they like - something I only felt confident to do after becoming a freelancer but something I now wish I'd started sooner. Former colleagues have said to me that they would love to blog too but don't think they can whilst being part of a corporate so until they're 'free' they won't write at all and what a shame. I know so many interesting, funny, smart people and a whole host of them are locking this part of themselves away but until when? There are books, poems and posts unwritten, ideas for podcasts left in the sock drawer of someone's mind and paintings that never make it onto a canvas. Someone I spoke to recently about publishing options told me that the most interesting thing about me had been that I used to work for Microsoft (oh dear..) but (and thank Christ for this!) it is my writing that is now my most interesting asset.
I am very proud of my career but don't want it to be my defining quality - how sad would it be to be remembered or known only for the company you work for? So if you have got a writer within or an artist hiding away in your heart - don't keep them trapped under a corporate bushel - let them out!
Soundtrack: Say What You Want by Texas