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Inspirational Interview: Simone

by Ashley on March 25, 2013 · 1 comment

This is one of our Inspirational Interviews in which we talk to people who have imagined big dreams, made them a reality, and are living a life they love. Today we are talking to Simone about writing about sex, love, and relationships online. 

skinny-dip-shoe-collection-shoes-shoetease2{Photo credit without text: Shoetease.com}

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

My name is Simone and I’m the author of Skinny Dip – a sassy and sometimes racy blog about sex, dating, relationships and everything in between. I’m a 30-something Canadian who recently traded in her fast-paced life in Toronto to move back to her sleepy hometown on the West Coast of Canada. I’ve since re-fallen in love with the laid back, healthy lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest. I work full time as a blogger and freelance writer. When I’m not blogging my heart out about relationships, personal wellness and the latest lingerie and sex toys, I work with online magazines and small businesses to create savvy and engaging content.

I love red lipstick, travelling, eating and drinking delicious things and consume books like most people consume food. I have a hard time saying no to any of the following: a good latte, bacon & eggs, 90’s hip-hop, vintage shopping, taco trucks and a really stiff, well-mixed martini. I also really love shoes and pretty lingerie – probably more than is healthy!

2. What does living a “super awesome life” look like for you? 

It means being able to do what I love (write and create) without being tied to a 9-5 job seven days a week. It means flexibility when it comes to making my living: being able to design my own schedule and not be location dependent. It means health and balance: healthy living, eating and staying active. It’s about surrounding yourself with love – friends and family who support you and that you love. Also a little bit of romance also doesn’t hurt :)

3. What was your journey like to becoming a freelance writer and blogger? 

I started my blog in 2009 so I’d have a place to write and tell stories. My hope was that my blog would eventually serve as a writing portfolio of sorts. A year into blogging, I was approached by some friends who work in the magazine industry to write some freelance articles for their publications. From 2010-2011, I  worked 40+-hours a week day job working as an administrator for a large university and wrote freelance articles and blogged in the evenings.

Freelancing and blogging full-time is something I kind of fell into by default. In the fall of 2011, my job at the university ended, which unfortunately coincided with the break-up of my 6 year relationship. I decided to trek out to the West Coast to stay with my parents for a change of scenery. Picking up extra freelance work was something I could do to support myself while I figured out my next move. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to use this opportunity to really grow my business and work on my blog full-time.

4. What is the biggest lesson you have learned writing about love, sex, and relationships online? 

That when it comes to love, sex and relationships, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. People have made some (often hilarious) false assumptions about who I am as a person because I’m a woman who just happens to write about sex (you can read about them here.) Human Sexuality is extremely diverse – that’s what makes it so fascinating! The people you assume will be the most kinky aren’t, whereas the wildest ones are often the ones you’d never expect.

5. What advice do you have for other aspiring bloggers?

1) Stay true to yourself and don’t compare yourself to others – It’s easy to get caught up in what other people are doing. Try to tune it out and focus on writing things you’re passionate about. This is how you develop your own authentic voice as a blogger.

2) Make friends with other bloggers. Connect, connect, connect! – As a blogger you you need to create community if you want people to read your stuff. You can’t just sit back and wait for someone to “discover you”. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to those bloggers that seems “super cool, talented and popular” In my experience, bloggers are generally really nice and enjoy hearing that other people dig their work.

3) Work hard but don’t quit your day job. There are no instant success stories when it comes to blogging. You have to work at it. This might mean more coffee and less sleep some days. Keep in mind that writing and blogging isn’t very lucrative when you first start out. I couldn’t have gone out on my own without having spent 1-2 years before writing, getting experience and developing contacts within the industry. It also helps to have a “cushion” I’m really grateful that I had savings and a free place to stay when I transitioned into working for myself. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it. A year later, I’m still working on building up my business to where I want it to be. It’s a process, but it’s getting there!

In other words – Don’t be fooled by the instagrams of my shoe collection and the other freebies I get through my blog. I do get some fun perks, but I actually don’t make that much money.

6. What little things in life right now make you you do a happy dance? Big things? 

Little things: colored denim, springtime, cherry blossoms, kisses, finding amazing deals thrift shopping, being fortunate enough to try out lots of cool lingerie & sexy products on my blog, being an auntie to my bff’s 3-year old daughter, laughing and hanging out with my family. Big stuff: I’ve already conquered a few goals I had for 2013 and I feel like I’m heading in the right direction – health and workwise.

7. In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you? 

My first choice would be 1990’s era Winona Ryder circa Reality Bites. However, if I didn’t have access to a time machine, I’d say Isla Fisher. I’m not a redhead but I think she’s smart, sassy and hilarious.

8. What is one thing you’d like to change about the world? 

Instead of always focusing on our differences, I wish we could come together more. We if we stopped fighting and instead lighted each other up, I honestly believe we could do amazing things.

9. What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?

“Do more of what makes you awesome”  I’m not sure who said it, just that I found it on Pinterest and it’s stuck with me ever since. I made it the center of my inspiration board for 2013 and it has since become a bit of a personal mantra.

10. What inspires you to continue living a life you love each day? 

I’m continually inspired by smart and funny women like Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Sloane Crosley and Julie Klausner who are writing and creating things on their own terms. There are also many awesome and inspiring women doing amazing things within the internet and blogging community. For daily doses of inspiration I’m a huge fan of reading  Notes from the Universe first thing in the morning. I archive all of the daily notes in case I need inspiration in a pinch.

Thanks so much for sharing, Simone! Do y’all have any questions?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lauren March 25, 2013 at 10:44 am

I love this series, particularly this post. It’s so encouraging to see people (particularly writers) who manage to make a living in a world that feels like it’s SATURATED with writers. I’d be curious to know: do you only freelance write editorials and blogs or do you do other kinds of writing (web copy, ads, billboards, etc.?)

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