Sometimes you have to follow your dreams. Jess Blackwell rediscovered her mojo for writing when she started blogging. She tells us how this small action helped spark a community of like-minded souls.
Words: Jess Blackwell
The Everyday Magazine is the reason you need to start creating again.
Well, that’s our snappy tag line – but to tell who you are fully, I need to go back to the beginning. *Reclines on chaise longue.*
Four years ago, I was working at a new job, adjusting to the 9-5 life, a healthy commute, a new lifestyle, my friends moving away and having less time – and I just felt, to put it bluntly, absolutely fucking awful. Writing had always been a huge part of my life and a huge part of what clumped together to form my sense of identity – it was how I got my ideas out there, it was what made me feel proud of myself, it was my ‘thing’. And then suddenly, I had no time for that ‘thing’ anymore. I was doing some freelance journalism alongside my full time job but the process both exhausted and disillusioned me (not to mention the fact that for every million pitch you send, you get about 0.5 responses back) and so my writing went from fully formed opinion pieces to notes on my phones to not existing at all… and I just didn’t know what to do about it.
And then I took a week off work and moved to Bristol – and in the midst of a gig clutching a pink and yellow beer (check out our logo), I had the light bulb moment of creating a blog for myself. It wasn’t so I could set the journalism world on fire, it was just so I would have the motivation to write again. I assumed that it would act like a gym subscription and that the website cost would be enough of a reminder for me to flex my fingers and type out everything in my head. And I thought, whilst I was doing that, I may as well open it up to my friends… and voila, The Everyday Magazine was born.
What was intended as a semi maintained blog for myself has become a community of over 700 writers, 20K monthly readers and a volunteer team of 12 people. Since that day we’ve had a sell out launch party, a line of sell out merch, won the Rising Star Award for journalism, had some incredible talks with some amazing speakers, had the privilege of being invited to some unreal events and established press connections with nearly of the Bristol venues… and we’re just about to have our first ever club night too.
We’re all here for the same reason – we don’t want the day to day to stop us from making time for what we love. We’re all from different backgrounds doing different things – some of the writers and team members are professional journalists who are here for the creative freedom, some of us are single parents who let writing leave their life for a bit and now it’s back with a bang, some of us are here to practise and grow in our writing confidence as we build our portfolio… but whatever the reason, we’re all here because we believe in the simple power of creating, of the person you can be and the happiness you can find when you do what makes you feel good.
You don’t need to wade through all the jargon and cruelty of unanswered pitches when you come to us, you don’t need to deal with having your personal pieces torn to shreds to fit with “the audience” and you don’t need to tick any brief checklists – we will always work with your ideas. If this is your first go of things – that’s perfect, we’ll work with you and give you feedback on your piece. Or maybe, you don’t want feedback – that’s great too. Maybe you just want to have fun, express yourself fully and have the joy of putting it out there in the world. Amazing.
Whatever it is and why ever you’re here, you’re welcome. Our priority isn’t the readers (sorry readers), we’re for you guys – the writers and music lovers and reviewers and everything in between. The Everyday exists because we believe in the power of sharing your work and making time, no matter how small, for what you love.
We are for the Mums, the Dads, the workers, the students, the Carers – we are for Everyday People who just love to write. We are for the people who refuse to let their creative passions fade.
We believe in the way that creating and sharing your work can reconnect you to a lifestyle and motivate you to pursue passions, go out and find new artists, venues and people. We believe in the change that can come about when you refuse to let your creative passions fade into the background. You may not be in a creative job, and maybe you don’t even want to be, but there’s still that part of you that adores to create and it’s been missing from your life. And, what’s more, you miss that person you used to be when you created… So this is the sign you’ve been looking for. This is the reason you need to start creating again. Get what you want from life – starting with what makes you happy.
We’re just about to have our first every club night down at Basement 45 on September 17th – come join us and get chatting. Expect big tunes and good vibes. Joining us on the night will be Lakota resident @Wavezd, father/daughter party starters Moylan Family Soundclash (@hannza_ and @moylandio), @sk3l3tonking (who has been singled out as one to watch by the likes of Ben UFO) and @tabidee with a set that screams power, resistance and black joy.
We’d love to see you there.