This is a bit of a fan-girl moment for me; I came across Sarah's Instagram account, @disastersofathirtysomething, a while ago and was instantly hooked by her engaging, humorous and honest captions and her hilarious replies when people left comments on her images.
Her following increases on an daily basis (not that I'm checking!) and she's created her own hashtag which is proving to be very popular (I've used it when I've had up and down days).
Sarah and her husband, Jonny, have recently announced that they are expecting twins later in the year *congratulations!!* and I thought that hearing a little more about her journey so far would be inspirational, not only for myself but other readers.
So over to Sarah...
Tell us more about you and your work, and how would you define your writing style?
My aim - and hope - is for my writing style to be real and relatable.
I’m a bit of an oversharer, and love writing a daily microblog on Instagram with the hashtag I launched - #thepeakandpitcollective. I share the high (peak) and low (pit) of each and every day, hoping to bring a sense of embarrassing reality to the platform, which can too often feel like a showreel of perfection.
I’m forever getting myself into scrapes and mishaps - as my name might suggest - so I love sharing those moments to help others feel less mortified about their own disasters.
Why does writing appeal to you?
I was an indoors child, far more interested in drawing, writing and reading than playing sports. I’ve always loved to write and I think, as an extrovert,
I find comfort in sharing my thoughts and feelings with people, hoping to get advice (and sometimes - I’ll admit - laughs) in return. I wear my heart on my sleeve in my daily captions, hoping to encourage openness and honesty by demonstrating it as best I can myself.
How are you feeling about the big changes in your life (coming back from travelling, house-hunting, being pregnant with twins, being a freelance writer)?
Coming back from our year travelling the world was bittersweet. I was beyond excited to see my family and friends, and craving a healthy dose of Britishness (tea, cheese on toast, First Dates) after such a long time away.
However, it did feel sad to leave our Big Adventure behind, with just buried phone photos and fading memories to show for it. But we hadn’t been back a month before we found out about our next Big Adventure - the twins - so that has obviously buoyed us beyond belief. I feel ready for this new, challenging chapter - and I’m certain that my husband Jonny and I will bore our children to tears with tales of “when we used to be cool and live in a van and wash in a bucket”. It’ll be their nightly bedtime story, whether they like it or not.
How do you think your work and lifestyle will change once you’ve given birth to your twins?
I’m under no illusions - I know my life is about to change massively. Two babies. TWO.
I don’t think I can even imagine the changes, so you might have to ask me again in September, after the tiny life-changers have made their dramatic entrance.
Do you foresee any potential challenges with balancing motherhood with being a freelance writer?
In many of the obvious ways, yes. I’m going to be busier, more tired, potentially zapped of any kernel of creative spark. Gah. But, on the other hand (and there’s always an ‘other hand’, I’m an eternal optimist), I’ve no doubt that motherhood will open my eyes to new ways of seeing the world and provide me with a myriad of fresh experiences to write about. Having twins is obviously not the ‘normal’ parenting experience either, so perhaps having two little ones at the same time will inspire me in new ways. So far my blogging and writing has mainly centred on travel, lifestyle and marriage, so motherhood - and the ‘mummy blogging’ world - will be a brand new writing avenue for me to step - gingerly - into.
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
I’m proud that nearly 1000 photos have been shared using my group hashtag, #thepeakandpitcollective. I’ve had some really lovely feedback from people, sometimes going through tricky times, who have found it cathartic to not only share the bad (getting it out in the open), but look for the good in every day.
Are there any lessons you want to impart to your children?
Oh goodness, hundreds. I want them to live happy, full lives, not always choosing the easiest option but the kindest. I want them to love and respect others, choosing to see the best in people.
Would you change anything about how/when you started your freelance work and having a family?
No, I don’t think so. Freelance work can be incredibly slow and poorly-paid, so I’m glad I didn’t start sooner, haha! It suits me perfectly at the moment as I’ve been able to nap and rest during the first few months of this pregnancy, rather than having to commute into an office. I take my proverbial hat off to the millions of women round the world who continue to work long hours throughout their pregnancies, and often on their feet all day. I’m in awe.
I’m grateful that if I have a day where I feel exhausted (ie. regularly), I can work on writing projects in my pyjamas, under a blanket, with a cup of tea. And a share-size bag of Maltesers.
What inspires you to continue doing what you do?
I follow lots of funny, fabulous writers/bloggers on Instagram, and I feel very fortunate to have met many of them offline - in real life! shocker! - as well. I love reading other people’s captions and I’m often inspired by their individuality, creativity, honesty and humour. I think so often we can feel ‘What do I have to offer as a writer/artist? There are already so many out there!’, but everyone has a unique take on the world and there’s always room for more creativity.
What advice/hints & tips would you give to other parents/parents-to-be who wished to start their own business?
I am by no means an expert in this field. I’ve only been freelancing for a few months and I’ve yet to even finish my professional website. Told you, disaster.
My advice would be to make the most of the perks: being able to work where and when you want, wearing what you want, and at whatever pace suits your mood and energy that day. I feel the most productive when I find a cosy tea room or café where I can get my head down and not have the distractions of home (namely fridge and TV).
Of course I still order cake, wasting time poring over the options, and check my phone every 78 seconds, but at least I’m in a pretty café, eh?