Writer In The City: Rosie Mullender

In every job, there are perks and there are pitfalls yet some career paths come with the inevitable pain of knowing your journey to success is going to be, for want of a better word, difficult.

A career which entails a certain level of creativity is tricky, particularly being a writer. It’s almost unheard of these days but we are out there; we’re interning, writing dodgy slogans, picking up roller skates for the boss (yes, been there) all waiting for that big break when someone says the immortal words: you’ll get paid.

I spoke to deputy features editor for national women’s mag Cosmopolitan, Rosie Mullender, who started her quest to being a writer at a young age. ‘I’ve always loved writing; I wanted to be a novelist but never imagined I could get into magazines.’

From humble beginnings as a youngster writing ‘terrible short stories about lemons and kissing behind teapots’ to the English degree and the post-grad qualification in publishing, Rosie changed her course of becoming a novelist during a lecture on how to break into magazine journalism and found her niche. Was it easy? No, of course not. Her advice? Persevere.

‘I worked in a petrol station for three years after graduation before getting my first job, but I knew it could do it because I wanted it more than anything. It’ll be hard – I had no spare money and once went seven weeks without a day off – but it was worth it.’

Being a writer in London is no mean feat, in an industry where interns are on a conveyor belt and bloggers are blogging 24/7 it is hard to keep motivated and get yourself positive but any established writer will tell you to keep going, even if you need to detour for a while.

‘Don’t turn down any opportunity because it’s not ‘right’ for you,’ says Rosie, ‘You don’t have that luxury at the start, and getting your foot in the door is all-important, even if it’s in a job that you’re not so interested in.’

Rosie’s trick to keep the creative juices flowing is staying up to date and current with what’s happening around you. ‘By immersing yourself in popular culture, the news and what our readers are thinking about, it’s easier to think of new things to write about which are really relevant.’

For Rosie, one of the perks of working for a national magazine is that inspiration can hit during the morning chat by the water cooler.

‘The girls on the features team are constantly talking about our love lives, ambitions and fears, prodding them to see if an idea pops out.’

Living in the city, inspiration is EVERYWHERE. If the darkness of the writer’s block cloud is looming overhead, simply take a walk.

‘I love walking around London, and I find that strolling along the South Bank, and going for pointless wanders around different areas getting purposefully lost, are great times to think. I walk around a random, pretty area like Mayfair or Notting Hill and just choose the nicest-looking road at each junction until I get bored and hop on a bus. I often find tricky ideas come unstuck when I’m walking.’

And her favourite part of the city? ‘The South Bank holds lots of my favourite memories; it’s a great place to go if your single and at a loose end! You never feel lonely on a sunny Saturday afternoon there.’  This seems fitting for the ex ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ feature writer who went onto land her dream job. But let’s not forget something else about the South Bank.. ‘And there’s lots and lots of food.’

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