And reviews them.
Plus, talks books.
When Madison recently asked me for my fave blogs I wrote something akin to a proviso. You know, I'm just giving you this week's current obsessions because I know you don't have room to run all of the ones I visit... Which is another long way of saying that there are a whole stack of blogs that I'm completely addicted to. I have to confess that when I was on maternity leave I checked out about 40 different blogs on a daily basis. They were my non-baby lifeline. They kept my pulse racing with all sorts of interesting things going on beyond the four walls of my Bondi apartment. One that I checked daily then, and now, is Girl With A Satchel. If you're obsessed with magazines, as I am, then it's a great way to get a precis of what's on the newsstands - a try-before-you-buy type situation. But, also, the blog author, Erica Bartle, keeps readers up to date with all sorts of juicy media info. The other night she had me in a complete tizz because of her report that ACP Magazines, where I work, may be moving to North Ryde! Anyway, I was curious to learn more about Erica and what inspires her.
Which five words best describe you? Empathetic, driven, organised, passionate, perfectionist!
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first proper job was working in a wee Newport boutique called Jennifer John, aged 16/17. It catered for northern beaches female Baby Boomers. I was already a magazine obsessive, so I parlayed some of my fashion trend knowledge into making buying suggestions (talk about precocious!). At the time, knee-length pleated skirts were all the rage. Since then, I've worked in advertising (where I learnt a lot about The Boys' Club), PR (producing a riveting corporate newsletter called 'Remuneration Review' and pimping out statistics to the Financial Review) and, of course, magazines. My first mag job was working on kids' title K-Zone. I wrote for Total Girl before moving into the beauty editing and then deputy editor gigs on Girlfriend. Now I write freelance and edit Girl With a Satchel.
What's your proudest achievement? Probably moving to Queensland with my husband. That took a lot of soul searching - moving from the Sydney mag scene and jumping off the publishing career treadmill into the sheltered world of Mount Tamborine. Thank heavens for the internet!
What's been your best decision? See above! Also, to stick with Girl With a Satchel even when the going got tough (blogging can be a solitary profession) and despite the bitchy anonymous comments. I think my faith has helped keep things in perspective.
Who inspires you? So many people! My husband, my sister, my mother-in-law, my best friends, and a list of authors, writers, bloggers and media types as long as your arm. Mia Freedman, Maggie Alderson, Kaz Cooke, Pip Lincolne, India Knight, Jana Wendt, Zoe Foster and Mark Sayers (it's a boy!) come to mind. Anyone who does what they're passionate about, and who lives a life beyond mediocrity, is inspiring to me.
What are you passionate about? God, first and foremost. I spend every morning in quiet contemplation with Him (though I tend to do more talking than listening). I think faith's extremely important in terms of keeping grounded, particularly in the often vacuous and malnourished media/celebrity/pop culture world. I'm also passionate about the glossies and the business of gloss (it's endlessly fascinating). Despite their shortcomings, magazines are like beautiful history books recording the who, what and wear of contemporary female life.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? To be successful at anything, a girl has to have balance in her life. It's no good throwing all your Easter eggs in one basket. And that good, strong relationships are essential to a meaningful life. Oh, and that trying to plan your life too much is a largely fruitless pursuit, which rails against my perfectionist/OCD tendencies.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jesus, of course! The man was literally a God-send and espoused the values we should all aspire to live by. Barack and Michelle are fabulous role models, but Jesus was the business.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? I would like to open a wee shop and perhaps pen a book one day. Is that greedy?
What are you reading? 101 Things To Do Before You Diet by Mimi Spencer, Julia Morris' autobiography and a big, fat stack of glossy magazines!
Images via Girl With A Satchel