One of the things I’ve always loved about having a blog is the control. I decide when and why to hit ‘publish’. It’s ironic, then, that my first blog post with The Guardian Fashion Bloggers’ Network was brought forward at the last-minute. I found myself going live four days earlier than expected. Just as I was watching Bob The Builder as research for my day job. ‘Can we blog it? Yes, we can!’
So, where did this adventure begin? In December, I read an advert on The Guardian’s website, calling for fashion bloggers, and hurriedly replied. (For international readers, The Guardian is one of the UK’s leading broadsheet newspapers, founded in 1821. Its website receives about 78 million unique browsers a month. Gulp.) I forgot all about the application form and so, it seemed, had The Guardian. Except, they hadn’t. As I celebrated Christmas, they were sifting through over 400 applications.
Fast forward to January. I was in a Bath restaurant, having lunch with two children’s authors and a colleague. As I left to catch the train back to London, I checked emails on my phone. ‘Oh,’ I whispered. ‘The Guardian wants me to blog for them.’
I still didn’t really believe it. Two months after that I was holed up alone in a New York hotel room, having just met up with Oonaballoona, Lladybird and Ginger Makes. I was checking emails again. ‘Oh,’ I whispered to the empty room. ‘They want me to write my first post. It’s really happening.’
Yes, it’s really happening. Along with a collection of other fantastic bloggers, I am going to be blogging once a week at The Guardian. I can’t tell you how excited I am about my blogging compatriates. You are going to love reading their entries. I shan’t say too much at this stage, as each blogger is being revealed in turn over at The Guardian, but the debate is going to be immense. We all come from a variety of backgrounds, none of them particularly mainstream fashion, and we all have something to say. My USP? Do you really need to ask?
For long-term readers of Didyoumakethat, you may find some of the initial blog posts at The Guardian relatively familiar reading. In part, this is because I need to build up a back profile of posts to achieve presence. In part, this is because I want to engage new readers with lots of the knowledge we already have. So, please be patient. After that? Oh boy, I really think it’s gonna be good! I have no idea how Guardian readers might react to me but I have plans. It’s creatively invigorating to embrace a whole new audience, that’s for sure.
Here’s the deal. This opportunity isn’t just mine. It’s ours. We created this platform together and now a national newspaper wants to help us talk to even more people about the extremely special creative world we share. I think that means we’re all really good at what we do. I think that means you need to pat yourself on the back. Go on, do it. It’s the very least you deserve.