You don’t have to be different, you just have to be you (AKA: why I decided to launch my own online magazine).
By Dessi, the editor of Dazzledmag.com
I am trying to be the change I want to see in the world.
You see, I have this view regarding social change and procrastination – to accomplish one, you have to stop the other. I choose social change, and any form of procrastination gives me major anxiety. I’ll watch a bad rom-com and, five minutes later, I’ll try to do as much revision as I can to outdo my time-wasting. I don’t really obsess over celebrities, but can be found awake in bed thinking about feminism, Russell Brand’s ‘The Trews’ and the Venus Project.
One day during summer, I made the decision that one way to do good things is by launching my own online magazine – dazzledmag.com. It would be a magazine that celebrates our differences, shares opinions, experiences and creations and, above all, provides young girls with a platform to share what they have to offer.
Although my aim was clear, I had no idea how I would go about doing this.
For a while, I had wanted to make a change. I could see all of these bloggers, writers and artists reaching people through social media and inspiring them, such as Essena O’Neill and Connor Manning. They talked about real life issues and things that concerned me. They inspired me and I witnessed the amazing opportunities the internet gives us.
Then, I came across Tavi Gevinson on TedTalks and the website Rookie opened my eyes to a whole new world. You mean, girls could blog about fashion while protesting against misogyny? I had never seen something like it before and couldn’t help but be impressed by the pure creative aura of the website.
When the idea that I could be one of the many voices of the internet occurred to me, I launched Dazzled – a platform for sharing. It would combine Rookie, Essena O’Neill and me. I also wanted to work with a variety of people, as most websites have a very concrete set of beliefs. I decided that Dazzled would not discriminate against people based on their beliefs and interests (within reason, of course) and this can be seen through our articles on the Michael Brown:
To add originality to the magazine, I wanted to have daily themes – like ‘Monday Musings’ and ‘Saturday Story-time’ – as well as daily quotes, to inspire and stimulate thought.
The day I launched Dazzled, I didn’t really know what to expect. But I was very excited. I knew that the first article had to show what Dazzled is all about – sharing the world – and I put more effort into that article than I had put into anything else before.
When asked what I’d like to get across through my writing, however, I still don’t really know. I feel very amateur at all of this and I rarely like what I have written. Take something like maths – it’s either right or wrong – but creative things are subjective. I don’t consciously copy any writing style and I feel like mine is different depending on what I write. This article, for instance, has a very different tone to my article here.
But I know one thing for sure – whatever I am writing, it’s an attempt to reflect me. I am slowly learning that people appreciate honesty more than anything and I believe the most successful writers and bloggers are the most authentic ones, who are fearless to share. My writing doesn’t always reflect my feelings accurately, but I’m working on it. I’m trying to hold back less and share more.
If you want to start blogging, make sure you plan. Thoroughly decide if this is something you have the time and effort to carry on doing, and talk to other bloggers for inspiration, tips and collaboration. A confident plan is crucial.
Above all, just be yourself. I can see you frowning at the cliché, but there is nothing people like more than when you’re real. And I promise you that there is nothing that makes a writer feel better than expressing themselves truthfully.
My aim for Dazzled will forever be to share the world and I’m gradually improving at sharing myself.
Words: Dessi, the editor of Dazzled
Image: Pippa Harrison