As inspired by the brilliant Dolly Alderton.
Last weekend, Dolly Alderton’s newsletter appeared in my inbox as I flew to Boston. (If you haven’t subscribed yet, you absolutely should). In it, she shared the idea of a delight list – a list where you describe your simplest, everyday pleasures in life.
As Dolly says, “the people who are truly happy are the people who can find pleasure in the habitual. They’re not enlightened, they don’t know something everyone else doesn’t. They just know how to be grateful for the granular rather than focussing on the big absences in their lives.”
So, without further ado, here’s a list of the everyday things that bring me delight. What would be on yours?
Auditions, rejection & doing things that make you feel alive.
Anna and I met, like any great modern day friendship, on the internet. From the offset, her energy was infectious. She’s the kind of person who truly lives. The kind of person who not only tries things beyond her comfort zone, but will tell you how it honestly felt, too. Her brilliantly written blog inspires me to live a little more bravely. Here, she writes candidly about what it’s really like to be a working actress. Rejection, career anxiety, asshole producers and all.
I spent most of my teenage years sucking my stomach in.
I wish that was a metaphor for something, and maybe it is, but mostly, it’s just a sad, literal truth. As a result of several years of semi-secret bulimia, my favorite thing to ask myself as a teenager was, “Do I look thin enough? What if I suck in some more?”.
On self-promotion in an overly polite world.
A few months ago, I asked someone to interview me.
I know, I know. That isn’t how it usually works. You don’t ask someone to interview you. You wait and hope they’ll come to you.
But I’d done the waiting thing. I’d done the writing and the work and the waiting, and you know where it got me?
Screw destiny. It’s all about taking action and asking.
Why I disagree with “write what you know” & more.
“Writer’s block doesn’t exist”
Oh, PLEASE. If you’re a good writer who genuinely cares about the quality of your work, you will get writer’s block. In fact, writer’s block is an inevitable part of the creative process. So when it happens, don’t freak out. Instead, step away with the screen/paper/typewriter (shout-out to those doing it old school) and go outside. Walk away from your work and only return when you actually miss it.
“You must be allowed to try things, creatively, that don’t work.”
I adore podcasts. They wake me up when I’m feeling lethargic. They keep me company on long drives to work. They motivate me when all else feels mundane.
On Tuesday I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons. If you’re not yet in awe of Elizabeth Gilbert, you soon will be. She’s incredible, and I don’t use that word lightly.
Arabella Golby on the dreams & drawbacks of living an *online* life.
Arabella and I met years ago. We were insecure teenagers, who got chatting as we waited for our interviews at London College of Fashion. Neither of us knew who we wanted to be, and neither of us got in. But through this chance encounter (and failure!), a wonderful friendship was born. Since then, we’ve conquered degrees, break ups, career doubts and more. I couldn’t be prouder to call her my confidant and close friend. Here is her amazing story of how she honestly became a full-time blogger.
Emmy Yoneda on why she loves being an artist, money worries & all.
Welcome to my new blog series, “No-Bullshit Career Talk”, where creatives in “unconventional” careers share how they honestly make it work.
Emmy Yoneda and I met working on the shop floor at Selfridges. We bonded over a mutual hatred for the job and have been friends ever since. She is one of the most creative people I know and her artwork is amazing. You should go fill your walls with it. Seriously, it’s THAT good.
If you thought art was just for privileged trustfundafarians, think again. Here is her story of dealing with financial woes and designing the life she deserves. She inspires me every day, and I just know she’ll inspire you too.
First jobs & the life lessons they teach us.
What was your first ever job?
I spent mine selling solar panels.
I was 15, had lied about my age on the application and was saving up for a trip away with friends.
To afford a few days in Ibiza, I spent a whole summer calling long-suffering people on the phone, practically begging them to book a free, no-obligation solar panel appointment. Please.
It was painful. It was soul-destroying. It taught me everything.
The jobs that followed weren’t exactly more glamorous.
On friendship, death and unexpected Facebook statuses.
Someone I grew up with died yesterday. I’m not going to lie and say we were close. We weren’t. At least not as adults. There was an age gap, and we lived at opposite ends of the country. I’m also not going to say I did all I could, even though I wish I had.
But her life was part of the tapestry of my parents’ lives and therefore interlinked with mine.
I was scrolling aimlessly through Facebook when I saw the news. My heart dropped.
Of course, I’ve seen other people’s deaths announced via Facebook. We’ve all been online long enough to become accustomed to the odd sad status update.