Monday, 15 August 2016

Their Scribbles: Interviewing Kathy Brown of I am Kathy B

Their Scribbles

Their Scribbles is a feature on the blog where I interview other writers I'm inspired by.

Today I'm really excited to have Kathy Brown stopping by the blog to answer some questions. Kathy's blog I am Kathy B is so incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking! I am Kathy B is my online happy place, and I am such a huge fan, so it's wonderful to have Kathy on the blog!

Kathy Brown of I am Kathy B

When did you first start I am Kathy B and why? What can readers expect when visiting your blog?

I started my blog in 2011 when I was 20 – I can't believe I've been writing about my feelings on the internet for five years already! I've always loved writing and have dreams of being an author, so I really wanted to create my own go-to space online: a way for me to document my life as I so love to do, and a way of maybe, just maybe, growing an audience.

What has having a platform where your voice can be heard meant for you?

Well, I'm sane, for one thing! I genuinely don't think I would be if I didn't write – it's my saving grace, over and over again. It might sound a bit wanky but I feel like I've discovered so much of myself too....When you create, you go to places in your own mind that you perhaps wouldn't otherwise. I know myself so well – flaws and all! Writing online has also lead to me meeting or talking to SO many incredible, talented, creative people and cheerleading each other's successes. I love that.

You’ve just celebrated five years of blogging at I am Kathy B – congratulations! What have been your blogging highlights over the past five years?

I would say starting my career in digital charity communications was the biggest highlight: a few years ago I got a job at my local hospice, which wouldn't have happened without the experience I had gained from blogging. It was the best, most fulfilling job ever and the most amazing platform - I'm now working at a national charity! In terms of my blog itself, it's the smaller, more personal things that mean the most to me. I receive so many lovely tweets and emails from people saying that my writing has influenced them in some way or changed their perspective, which is just insane! It makes me so happy to think that I could make a small, positive difference to somebody's day.

With posts such as To the Woman Who Wouldn’t Buy Herself Flowers, How to Love Yourself, 10 Little Ways to Look After Yourself When Things Are a Bit Shit and A Little List of Lifesavers, you’re a big advocate for self-love and self-care. Why are self-love and self-care so important to you?

Over the years, I've realised how important it is to be your own best friend – life can be messy and turbulent, and everyone has their own sh*t to deal with. Things change, too. But we are the constant. That's one hell of a relationship to protect! There have been times where I've struggled with confidence issues as well as mental health issues, so for me, practicing self care regularly is what keeps me on a level playing field. I've still got work to do in terms of loving myself, but I know I'll get there. I'm definitely comfortable with who I am now... And I make myself laugh more than anyone else!

You offer quite a lot of advice on your blog, with posts like How to Love Someone, How to Get Out of a Creative Rut, and Making a Difference. Where do you find your inspiration for these posts? Are you naturally very wise, or are you passing on the lessons of experience?

I don't necessarily know if I'm particularly wise or not: perhaps I come across as wise because I'm writing it publicly, but I think everyone, really, has little tokens of wisdom they can offer that might be useful to others. The inspiration always comes from my own experiences – I naturally write the things I want to read and document: the things I know I'll need to read back some day.

When I think of your blog, I think of emotion. No matter what the topic, you’ll write with so much emotional truth, and your words really make me feel (case in point: An Ending, On Long Distance Love & the Choices We Make and Patchwork Happiness). Is writing from a place of emotion a conscious choice, or just who you are? How has your voice evolved over five years of blogging?

Oh thank you! No, it's never a conscious choice...I'm definitely quite a sensitive, contemplative soul – there's no time for small talk over here haha! Most of the time I never really know what I'm going to write until I'm writing it – sometimes I surprise myself in becoming aware of a feeling that I actually didn't know I had until that moment! That's why I love writing so much, I think. It brings me home to myself. I've always written very candidly on my blog, but as the years have gone by I've just become more open. And the response to that has been incredible.

You are a star on Twitter (@KathyB5710). Amongst the tweets about your day and what’s up on your blog, you also tweet these incredible thought-provoking, eye-opening, empowering or joy-infusing rays of sunshine into my feed. On occasion, they have literally made my day so much better. For a long time now, I have thought you should collate them into a book. Where do these tweets come from? What inspires these mini marvels?

That's so lovely, thank you! I LOVE TWITTER. My tweets are often just quotes taken from my various blog posts, and again, I just post the kind of tweets I'd want to read. I also love sharing the writing/writers that I adore with my audience – Twitter often feels like a big cheerleading squad and makes it so easy for us to help each other, which is so special!

This isn’t really a writing question, but... Overall, your blog showcases what a unique human being you are, a treasure hunter who finds the gems amongst all the crap. You seem to see beauty and joy in everything, and really, I just want to know where you get your optimism from? Because I want face each day with some of the excitement you seem to.

Thank you. That is such an amazing compliment. It's not that I don't see the bad stuff or ever get lost or bogged down in the darkness РI really do. Just like everybody else, there are days where I'm wading through the shit: days where I simply just struggle. But, I really, truly believe that beauty is present in so many things if you choose to look for it. I also really appreciate the value of life and how lucky I am: eight years ago, one of my friends died suddenly at 15, which, to this day, so often challenges or changes my perspective on things. It sounds clich̩ but time is such a precious, finite resource: I want mine to be as happy and fulfilling as possible, which means seeking the good stuff, always.

What opportunities has your blog and writing opened up for you?

As I mentioned earlier, my blog and writing has been a huge influencer in the progression of my career. I was once told that I wouldn't stand a chance in a creative job role without a degree and that I should give up the 'pipe dream'... So defying that has been amazing and a real boost to my confidence! I genuinely believe you can achieve pretty much anything if you work hard enough for it. I'm hoping, some day, that my blog will support me in getting a book deal too. I'm determined to see my book on a Waterstones shelf some day!

Thank you, Kathy, for your fantastic answers! Do go and check out her blog I am Kathy B and revel in her beautiful words! You can also follow Kathy on Bloglovin'Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,  and Goolgle+.

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