Hi! Welcome to yet another series on Two Book Thieves. As well as promoting our own blog this year, we also want to spread the love amongst the blogging community! As well as my current Bloggers I’m Currently Loving series, we also came up with the idea of ‘interviewing’ some of our favourites. Each person featured will be asked a few questions by us and you get to read their answers and get to know the person behind the blog! We hope you love them as much as we do.
I came across Lauren’s blog a few months back and since then, I have been an avid reader. Her blog is instantly welcoming, especially with a cute illustration of herself as the header! Lauren is a natural story-teller and shares posts mainly on mental health, feminism and books (a girl after my own heart.) Her posts make you think, her self-portraits make you want her outfits and her book recommendations hurt my bank account. Overall, a blogger you need in your life.
We’ll start with the basics – what inspired you to create a blog?
I started my first blog when I was about 16 and my original reason for making it was because I wanted a place to keep notes on anything and everything – it sounds weird but it’s always given me a sense of order knowing that everything I do and buy has been written about and reflected on! I’ve had a couple of different blogs since then, but my current one was started in 2015 and has been my favourite of the bunch. I started this one while I was at uni because I had too much floating around my head and I desperately wanted somewhere to let it all out. I’ve always blogged because I wanted to write, not because I wanted people to read it, if that makes sense!
One of the main things you blog about is books and as you can tell from our blog’s name, we can relate. If you could choose one book that everybody had to read in their lifetime, what would be your choice and why?
My favourite fiction book is always changing so this is a really difficult question for me! When it comes to Non-fiction books, I would have to say Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive. That’s probably not a very unique answer, but the first time I read that book I sat there and cried because every word felt so real to me, and it was the first time I’d ever read anything which truly made me feel like I wasn’t abnormal and I was going to be okay.
In your opinion, has blogging changed/affected your life in any way?
Blogging has 100% made a positive impact on my life. I’ve met so many likeminded people through it and it’s introduced me to a whole bunch of really creative friends who all think the way I do. Coming from a small town where I’ve always felt a bit different, it’s been a lifesaver in showing me that there are a whole bunch of girls out there who are all like me! It’s also affected my life a little bit in that I have a space to write and talk about my mental health instead of holding it all in.
Discussions about mental health are very important on your blog. Why is this and what do you think we all need to do to erase the stigma around mental illness?
I’ve always struggled with my mental health, and before I started up my blog I used to feel completely alone with it. Things felt so much worse than they actually were, because there was nobody for me to turn to to talk about the weird stuff going on in my head. Originally I started writing about mental health on my blog for my own benefit – so that the circling thoughts that I was having could sit somewhere else other than inside my head. But then I started to realise that my words may have been helping other people too, by letting them relate to my experiences. Since then I’ve found a huge community of people online who are all brilliant at talking about their mental health. It’s made me realise that what makes mental illness feel even worse is that it’s so stigmatised and it makes you feel cut off from society. If all of us can be a little more open, mental illness is going to become so much easier to talk about and work on. That’s why I try to encourage myself and everyone else to be as open as possible about mental health!
Finally, what advice/tips would you give to aspiring bloggers who are just starting out?
My biggest tip for bloggers just starting out would be to write for you and nobody else. You have to get into blogging because you have a real love for writing or photography, or sharing your voice. If your motivations behind starting up a blog is because you want free stuff or you want fame, you’re probably never going to achieve either of those things, because your work is going to be inorganic. But if you’re writing and creating because it’s what you love to do, you won’t feel like you’re doing work, and other people won’t feel like your content is forced, so they’ll keep coming back for more!
Lots of Love,
Angharad & Becky