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17.11.16

Q and A with Me


The first selection of questions from my new and ongoing Q&A series



Where do you find inspiration?

Celebrity culture bores me. I never have any idea about what is going on in the Big Brother House or which footballer is dating which popstar. I've had lovely conversations with cast members of TOWIE and Love Island without having the slightest clue who they were as I rarely watch TV.  Half the time I live in my own little world of podcasts, audiobooks and Ted Talks. I love books but I rarely have time to sit down and read them so I prefer to listen to things whilst driving or cooking or putting my make-up on. I am a proficient multi-tasker. I love visiting museums and art galleries as much as possible. I have a degree in History and worked in heritage for many years so my love of all things history is ingrained. My mum is a professional fine artist so art has always been a huge part of my life and my dads love of both photography and nature has certainly rubbed off on me. Dan and I have a lot of magazines around the house for "picking up and putting down" in a quiet 10 minutes between tasks. Again, not the trashy celebrities type magazines, usually the Home and Food ones. I don't buy fashion ones any more because got tired of spending so much money on magazines that only I would read so at least I can share these ones with Dan. We often use them for interior design inspiration or ideas for at-home date night recipes, circling ideas and folding down pages as reference points for one another
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Does Dan (My Husband) mind you talking about your exes and past relationships?

A huge part of the reason why Dan makes me so happy is that he supports me creatively. Life isn't always happy and relationships aren't always easy, just because I find myself in a marriage that is both of those things does not mean that I feel a need to dismiss issues that other people are going through. Similarly I am not prepared to invent issues in my marriage for the sake of a word count, therefore it is far simpler to revisit times where I have been unhappy in order to offer advice to others facing the same decisions I faced. Simply put, we are happy but I have not always had people in my life that make me happy and that has shaped me as a strong person. The need to revisit those things and make peace with them is just part of my reflective nature. It might not always be comfortable for Dan to read what I have written about past experiences but happily he is secure enough both in himself and in our relationship to look beyond that and into the capacity I have as a writer and storyteller. He is always, without the fail, the first person to share my blogposts and support my work
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How do you connect with PRs and brands?

I pester them. No honestly I really do. I have a templated Instagram message which states the following: 

"Good afternoon/evening/morning I am getting in touch to find out if there are any current collaboration opportunities available with your brand? I pride myself on professional level visuals and styling alongside creative, original writing. if anything does come up then please get in touch as I would love to work with you, Milly"

I scope out brands that work with bloggers and send this message to them, often to twenty different brands a day. Of these twenty about five usually get back to me, providing the email addresses of the PR department. From here I will compose another more detailed email and attach my press pack. These emails typically have a 50/60% success rate. That's right. Sending twenty messages usually just about secures you one job. The truth is the PR agencies and staff are busy people and they need you to do the work for them. Be proactive, provide your stats, availability and past projects and sell your skills
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How do you get free stuff?

(Honestly I LOATHE this question every time it gets asked)

I think I started getting "stuff" sent to me at about 6 months in to starting my blog three years ago. I actually really resent the term “free stuff” it isn't actually free at all, it costs hours of your time and effort and usually if you were to compare the monetary value of the things you are getting sent to the hours of work you put in to trailing, photographing, writing about, editing and promoting said "stuff" in a wage sense it would actually compare pretty poorly to most peoples hourly rates. Despite this, everyone seems to think that getting “free stuff” is the benchmark of success but it isn’t really. In the most basic of terms getting paid MONEY is the benchmark and that, happily is where I am now. The day I got paid £700 for one Instagram shot and used that money to pay off a huge chunk of my wedding, now THAT was a benchmark. Equally it's worth bearing in mind that if you become too fixated on money and “free stuff” it will show in your content and it will be your downfall. I am seeing this more and more in the expanding blogger world and it never stops being unsavoury. Basically if you want to start a blog then make sure you do it for the right reasons, write about what you are passionate about, using your own voice, your own opinions and in your own style. Don’t lose yourself to the increasingly commercial world blogging because whilst there are lots of good sides to life as a blogger there are also a lot of very very ugly sides that I take care to steer clear of
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What are your top tips for Photography?

Invest in a good camera. It doesn't need to cost thousands but it will cost a few hundred. Many of my friends profess to not having a creative bone in their body but have found that when picking up my camera at a party or at dinner they've surprised themselves by managing to create some really quite beautiful, detailed shots. In my opinion it's 50% having a good eye for photography and 50% the equipment that you use. Also lenses, I couldn't live without my 45mm lens and now barely use the pancake lens that my camera originally came with. Find some good apps for post editing, I don't like to muck about too much and I certainly don't always get it right but my favourites are Facetune for picking out detail, Snapseed for general editing and Mosaico for planning what I post on my Instagram. I use both the EPL7 and EPL8 (pictured above) Olympus cameras and I would recommend either model to anyone looking to start out in the world of blogging where pictures really really do paint a thousand words 
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You've admitted to undergoing CBT recently (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) how do you find that?

Firstly the word "admitted" alludes to a perception of shame being placed on matters of mental health, a perception which I actively discourage. I am happy to openly discuss the merits of CBT. I think the world we live in could benefit from people seeking a little more self-awareness and compassion. I am a thinker, that is just my nature and being able to discuss my thoughts with someone of a professional level is hugely motivating. Especially given my, admittedly amatuer but none the less enthused, interest in psychology and human behaviour. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find out a little bit more about yourself and the way your mind works. We are not robots that coffee and cake goes into and smiles fall out of. Life is hard and in the same way that I wouldn't expect someone to simply ignore their severed limb after an explosion I would not expect someone to ignore the effects of mental trauma either. I have found my CBT sessions to be both exceptionally interesting and rewarding and I hope that by proudly voicing this view that others will find the courage to do the same
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If you would like to submit a question for Part Two please email me at Millydaydream@outlook.com or leave a comment below


6 comments:

  1. Your answer regarding "freebies" is spot on, like literally AMEN. It's one of the only thing that really grinds my gears as a blogger is when people ask that. Loving the start of this little series, Milly! x

    Kathryn | Chapters of Kat

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    1. Thank you Kathryn, it's incredibly demoralising isn't it? I don't think people realise how much hard work and dedication it takes to run a blog. Everyone just wants the reward with the work these days xx

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  2. I LOVE THIS POST! I feel so lucky that you're a friend of mine, so most of this I knew anyway, but I love how open you are about everything. As someone who is also really open generally, I've got a lot of respect for others who speak on issues both past and present to help others - so keep talking about CBT and things from past relationships, because it will always help someone... Oh and the 'free stuff' thing annoys me too! xx

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    1. Oh Chloe, what a lovely comment! I love your honesty too, it's a trait I really respect in people. I remember walking though St Pancras with you deep in conversation about relationships and life goals an hour after meeting you and feeling so happy to have met someone on the same wavelength xx

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  3. Loved reading this post Milly. It makes me lav you even more! Ps yes the FREE THING drives me mental!xx

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    1. Thank you Georgie <3 The whole "free stuff" issue feels like bringing my head against a brick wall at times! Ps...Love you too babe! xx

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