An Interview with Freelance Writer and Social Media Manager Sydney Blanchard
About two months ago, I flew to New Orleans for a workshop at The Bakehouse. I was blown away by how much I learned and how quickly I bonded with the other women, including today’s bitch. You know what I love? A funny woman who, surprise, is also smart. Sydney’s social handle is Dyke To Watch Out For, and if you’re woke (woke ?) enough to know what that means, welcome to the Sydney Blanchard fan club.
Part of the workshop that weekend was about branding. Sydney had gone through my Instagram account and printed the pictures she thought represented me. I would have never been able to see what she saw, and I wouldn’t have gotten it as right as she did. She also guessed my astrological sign and the names I use for each grandparent. I imagine she’s real fun at parties. Meet today’s bitch, Sydney Blanchard!
What do you do and what is the name of your business?
My business doesn’t really have a name! It’s just me! I’m a freelance writer/social media manager, and most recently I’m assistant to Joy the Baker, a client of mine. I mostly write about food and travel and take on food and tourism clients.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s not necessarily advice I was given, but advice I’ve taken from the late and great radio host Dr. Joy Browne. In dealing with “difficult people,” I always employ her “stupid and cheerful” method.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
When I quit my full-time job in 2016, I had no other job lined up. It was terrifying! Leaving that toxic situation and having to quickly fend for myself financially lead to me starting my own business and pursuing freelance as a real thing, not something on the side or to do in between finding my next “real job.” I learned that I can rely on myself and that I can trust myself to figure shit out, and that feels incredibly powerful.
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
I’m proud that I am at a point where I can choose the type of projects I want to work on, and I can be picky! I’ve taken on so many shitty clients in the past, but now I happily drop people who don’t get me.
Do you have a morning or nighttime ritual?
I’m really into skincare! The time I spend when I wake up and before I go to sleep applying all my serums and creams is my “me time.” I kind of zone out and it’s almost like a meditation.
What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires you?
Honestly, as a writer, I tend to get stuck a lot. I’ve learned that I can’t just pull from my creative well without replenishing it. The best thing for me is to step away from the task at hand and fuck around on the internet a bit, read a book, journal, go grab lunch and people watch, hit up a museum, or some other form of entertainment.
What does self care look like in your life?
Woof. This is something I definitely could work on. I’m practically always dehydrated so I try to remember to drink water when I feel bad. Headache? Water. Tired? Water. Anxious? Water.
How do you feel about social media?
God, so many feelings. If it weren’t my job, I’d go off the grid and never look at any of it ever again. Truly. I think we’re not quite aware of the impact or repercussions of our constant exposure to social media. I think it’s changing our culture in some really negative ways.
I also think it’s an incredible tool to connect with people with similar likes/interests/goals across the globe! And I think in many ways social media has changed the world for the better. It’s complicated! Small doses, ya know?
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
I am nothing without the women in my life. My grandmother practically raised me. She’s the sassiest old bitch you’ve ever met, and we bicker a lot, but she is strength incarnate.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working alongside so many incredible, brilliant women professionally. My very best friend and frequent business partner Ashley Monaghan is such a force and has inspired me creatively since we first met in college.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite podcast and snack?
I love This American Life, and lately I’m digging Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. I’m a big snacker. I love all candy, but especially the gummy kind that sticks in your teeth and gives you cavities.