Photography – Sandra Beijer
Back in another life, when blogging was just a weird thing some people did in their bedroom, I stumbled upon Sandra Beijer, who you may also know as Niotillfem if you’ve been around the blogosphere for a while. I was instantly seduced by the collection of candid shots of her life in Stockholm, her style and general vibe. Fast forward a few years, I sat down (metaphorically) with Sandra for a chat about style, blogging, writing and all sorts of other things.
Hi Sandra, how are you and what are you doing right now?
Hi Laetitia! I am currently sitting in my kitchen, drinking coffee, answering e-mails and dealing with boring thing such as organising my receipts. I am fine though – spring is finally here in Stockholm and everything is prettty!
I’ve been following you for so many years, I think I still remember the first time we exchanged messages! Since we both started blogging, things have changed a lot it seems. How do you feel about blogging nowadays? Do you enjoy the changes in the industry? Do you still read a lot of blogs?
I know! It bugs me that we still haven’t met, I’ve been following you forever as well. Blogging is my full-time job nowadays. Before I used to work as a copywriter at an advertising agency during the day and blogged in the evening. I feel so grateful that this thing that started as a hobby has grown into one of Sweden’s biggest blogs and something I can live off of. It means I have more time and energy (and love) to put into my writing projects. I’ve been a freelancer for 3 years now and I love it!
As for the industry I feel that professional blogging is slowly but steadily getting recognised as a proper job. People are realising that it takes time, effort and devotion – and that it is not just “a thing everyone can do”. For many years (and even now, still) when I met new people (mostly men) they thought I was joking when I told them what I did for a living, and so I always had to tellthem the story of my blog and life to justify my work. This is bullshit and it shouldn’t be that way. As a full-time blogger I have more readers than a lot of magazines or sites with an entire team of staff writers, and I also probably have a lot more impact on my readers because I write directly from my heart. So I guess a short answer to your question would be: “yes“. I enjoy the changes. I think it’s awesome that an entire industry made and invented by women has so much power and creativity today!
I read loads of blogs myself. I use bloglovin as my blog reading tool so I won’t miss any posts from my faves.
Between your blog, the books, a podcast and so many other things you have going on, what’s the most important thing in your life at the moment?
Travelling, having fun and petting dogs. And writing!
From blog to book, you are living the dream for many of my readers. How did your first book come about?
I’ve dreamt of being a novelist all my life. So when my manuscript was accepted by a publisher, OMG that was the biggest and most exciting thing to ever happen to me!
My first novel came about when I was working in New York as a copywriter. I’d been working at the agency for almost two years handling big accounts, but still didn’t have any adverts out in the open. It was frustrating, I almost felt as if I was ”playing” advertising instead of really working in advertising. So I set myself a one year plan: I was going to write the book I had in my head, send it to a publisher and if it got accepted, I was going to quit my job to be a freelance writer and full-time blogger. Long story short, after a year I sent in my manuscript (I worked on the novel at night, on the weekend, during my lunch break and on the subway) and it got accepted! The rest is history!
The reason I love reading your blog (thank you Google Translate!) is because you have always been very open about your life, from work to relationships. I think it makes you really relatable and friendly which is great. Did you know this was something you wanted to do or did it just happen naturally? Have you always been quite open to sharing your life with your readers?
Thank you so much. I feel that if I am going to write about my life and what I do, I need to add my feelings and thoughts to the mix :). I’m not saying every blogger has to. But I feel I have to, because that is just how I am. My blog started more or less as my diary and will always be just that in a way. Every single time I opened up and told my readers when I was sad or heart broken or lonely they’ve always been there for me in the most wonderful way! I don’t really feel that there are negative consequences to being open about your personal life in public… The only thing that happens is that people feel they can be just as personal in return. That creates a safe environment and a lot of my readers use the comments section on my blog almost as a forum. They write their thoughts and problems down and there is always someone replying. That is so wonderful and I feel really proud about that.
What’s your next big project? What would be your dream right now?
My next big project is my second novel that will be released in the fall. I’m working on it right now with my editor. I am so nervous for thelaunch and I really hope it will go well and that people will like it!
You travel a lot, where have you been recently and where do you plan on going this year?
I love travelling! I have just spentfive weeks in Tokyo and next week I am going to Spain and Portugal by train! So I am really looking forward to that. Then I am going to New York to see Swedish artist Håkan Hellström perform. Lots of travelling this spring but after that I just want to stay in Stockholm for a while.
What advice would you give girls who want to give blogging a try in 2016?
Hmm. Have an idea of what you want your blog to be, be personal but stay professional, invest in a good camera and post every day. Oh… and have fun!
Animal – Lion.
Outfit – Short skirt and cropped tops.
Song – The Skyliners – Since I Don’t Have You
Book – Silk by Alessandro Baricco and everything by Murakami.
Person – My mom.
TV Show – Love this season of Girls
Reading – The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain
Doing – Blogging, writing my second novel.
Listening To – Yé-yé pop.
Dreaming of – summer