I’ve been thinking a lot about identity lately. Partly because I’m 22 and it’s practically mandatory for newly-graduated 20-somethings to question their entire life purpose. Partly because I’ve been watching the latest series of America’s Next Top Model (AKA the greatest show on earth) and they keep talking about being ‘a brand, a boss, and a business’. And partly because my ultimate blogging babe Tara wrote about whether bloggers need to be a brand, and how hers has evolved over the years. For a while now, I’ve described myself first and foremost as a writer. Because I am. It’s literally what I get paid to do. Writing is my day job and side hustle and one and only hobby (apart from sobbing over Grey’s Anatomy and falling asleep watching Heartbeat on the sofa with my fiance.) But the problem with rooting your identity so firmly in what you do is…

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I’ve always been a digital girl. I grew up with computers and smartphones. By the time I was old enough to start writing more than my name, computers were the norm – to the point where I once got in trouble for writing by hand at school. It’s not that I don’t love a good notebook. On the contrary – give me an afternoon in Paperchase and I’m as happy as Larry (happier, in fact. Larry suffers from severe depression.) It’s that writing by hand has always seemed inconvenient. Not only can I type quicker than I could ever write (and, more importantly, type as quickly as my brain thinks), but carrying notebooks and pens everywhere is just irritating. For a start, I never remember to switch my notebooks from one bag to another, whereas I barely leave a room without my phone in my hand. About a month ago,…

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There has been a resurgence in recent years of the iconic girl gang. Thanks to Taylor Swift’s Instagram feed, having a #squad of fearless female friends by your side is super on trend. It hasn’t always been this way, however. Growing up, I firmly believed that being friends with boys was better than being friends with girls. Because, y’know, girls are like, so totally bitchy and SO full of drama and boys are just so much less manipulative and catty. Obviously. What I didn’t realise is that girls are, in fact, wonderful. It turns out my problem was less with girls and more with teenagers in general. Who knew. Now I’m older and a little bit wiser, I realise that female friends are the foundation of a solid life. Every day, my female friends (both online and offline) bring me joy. They raise me up, they shout about my achievements…

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Feminism has a terrible history of being focussed on white, middle-class women. You know that. I know that. Most of Twitter knows that. That’s why whenever a white celebrity feminist fails to acknowledge black women, the internet blows up. It’s why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was immediately criticised for saying that trans women aren’t women. And it’s why Twitter is full of battle cries proclaiming that the only true feminism is intersectional feminism. For those of you not in the know, intersectional feminism acknowledges that women are not women in a vacuum. Women are black women and trans women and poor women and disabled women. All those other identifiers influence how a woman experiences womanhood. It was a term originally coined by American civil rights advocate, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe how social identities and systems of oppression and discrimination can overlap (or intersect), and although it was coined in specific…

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My brain is very full. As we speak, I have 2 novels, 2 non-fiction books, and 20 blog posts floating around in my brain. That’s on top of my usual anxieties (will I ever make it as a writer? Am I wasting my life in a job that I hate?), day-to-day to-do’s (must remember to buy kitchen roll on my way home from work), wedding planning (damnit I still haven’t emailed the videographer back), buying a house (will our mortgage application ever get accepted??) and anger at the current political climate (oh for fuck’s sake Theresa, did you HAVE to call an election NOW? Couldn’t you have waited a BIT longer?). That’s a lot of thoughts for one little brain. Normally, I deal with my full brain by writing. This is not unique. Most writers write because they just need to get the thoughts out of their brain so they…

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