Rosy Edwards is a lifestyle journalist and author of Confessions of a Tinderella, a laugh-out-loud memoir about her experiences of dating on Tinder.
She is also the co-founder of The Riff Raff, a writers’ community that champions debut authors and supports aspiring writers.
Before becoming a writer, Rosy worked in PR and teaching and she has a Masters in child psychotherapy and counselling. Her blog, Life on the List, about life waiting for a kidney transplant, is recommended reading to dialysis patients around the world. A keen runner and yogi, she lives in London with her boyfriend.
Describe a typical day for you?
Most days begin just before 6am when I creep out of bed, trying not to wake my boyfriend. I work out then catch up on work or emails before packing a stupidly heavy rucksack and walking to my office, listening to the Desert Island Discs podcast and imagining what my eight discs will be when Kirsty Young finally asks me on the show.
I get to my office just before 9. I am training myself to check my emails three times a day and so far I’ve got it down to a lean 15. Once I’ve dealt with anything urgent I’ll have my first coffee of the day – five is my maximum, anything more and it feels like my arms are going to drop off – then I’ll research features, liaise with PRs and clients and eventually I might start writing, which means writing 100 words, staring at the wall, wandering round the office, deleting what I’ve written, panic drinking coffee, panic eating carbs then panic writing 500 words that I will inevitably re-do.
I spend one day a week with Amy Baker, my co-founder at The Riff Raff. She is essentially my spirit animal and we have to be organised otherwise we spend the whole time nattering and looking at pictures of cats. We’ll strategise for the month ahead, create content for our website, reply to emails, do social media and plan for our next writers’ event.
On a good day I’ll leave the office before 7, meet friends for drinks or have dinner with my boyfriend. There are some great independent places in Balham where we live and we eat out far more often than we should. It’s lights out around midnight.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
For a long time I struggled with how to feel proud – I thought it meant being arrogant. I’m told I am a perfectionist so even getting my first book published didn’t feel enough. But I recently had dinner at a friend’s house and she had Confessions of a Tinderella on her bookshelf – moments like that never get old.
Beyond that, starting The Riff Raff has brought me unimaginable pleasure and pride at what we achieve. The buzz at our first event is something I will never forget. I also look back very fondly on the blog I wrote about having kidney failure, and learning to do my own dialysis treatment at home. There is something uniquely empowering about knowing how to keep yourself alive.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Ah, my stupidly heavy rucksack, you mean? I waved goodbye to beautiful, dainty handbags a long time ago because I take my laptop everywhere. You’ll also find my phone, headphones, pens, any of the books that we are considering for The Riff Raff and sunglasses, irrespective of the season. I like to keep loose change jingling around in there too for emergency snacks.
What are your ambitions in life?
To write books for a living and to make people happy, which also translates as: ‘To live a life of largesse and make people like me’.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
That you can, and should, follow your dreams. I made a lot of decisions based on what I thought people expected of me. A few years ago I got round to asking exactly what those expectations were, and everyone of those people looked at me with total befuddlement. Turns out they had all been waiting for me to make a choice that makes me happy.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In my farmhouse kitchen, urchins gazing up at me in adoration and the pages of my latest bestseller rippling in the summer breeze. It’s that or living a life of booze-fuelled hedonism, possibly on a boat. I’m not very good at happy mediums.
What advice would you give a budding journalist/novelist?
I get asked this a lot and my answer is always the same: read and write. If that sounds worryingly basic, it is. Write every day; your natural style will start to emerge and from there you can work out whether you want to be a news reporter or a lifestyle journalist, a crime novelist or non-fiction writer – they are all very different things. Read absolutely everything, from pamphlets to the classics to extremist propaganda to get a better understanding of the world and the job you are trying to do. Don’t be snobby in this pursuit: one of my all-time favourite novels came free with Cosmopolitan) The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank).
What’s the best advice you’ve received on motherhood you’d like to share?
That the birth of your child also marks the death of part of you. Children are a blessing and they will bring untold joy into your life, but the shift in your own identity is seismic, so be ready for that.
Finally, happiness is…
The first glass of white wine on a Friday evening.