In the first in a series of interviews with Norfolk bloggers, I speak to Sophie in the Sticks about why she started to blog and what she loves about Norfolk
When did you start blogging?
I first started in 2011 on New Year’s Day. I suppose it was part of a resolution to write a blog. Back then it was hard to find other blogs and those that I did stumble across were other girls like me who were sharing their lives online. Cooking, outfits, days out. It was all lovely and a far cry from the blogosphere now.
Then, in 2013, I decided to revamp my blog with a new name, new look and an aim of just sharing the content that made me happy, regardless of whether there was an audience. The oldest posts have been wiped, but I’ve racked up over 1100 live posts since then and love what I’m doing.
Why did you start blogging?
Facebook had really started to grate on me. It gave no space to write freely and felt claustrophobic. I wanted to share my thoughts and photographs with everyone and no-one simultaneously. Creating a blog gave me my very own space to use as I wished without being subject to editing or judgment.
From nowhere at all I grew a love for countryside photography, which has bloomed. Capturing the scene, the little details, the sunshine, sparkles and the feeling of my surroundings remains such a joy.
What are your proudest moments as a blogger?
I’ve had far more than I ever dared to wish for. Having anyone take the time to leave a comment, share my content or write an email to talk about my blog is a real gift.
Out of all the content that gets churned out every day, for mine to reach anyone and for them to connect with it enough to take time out to interact makes me happy. The support on Twitter has been amazing and takes me by surprise so often. Becoming a finalist in the UK Blog awards for Photography in 2016 and being named Country Style Blogger of 2017 were massive highlights.
Have there been any surprises?
My post reviewing Heist tights continues to be popular and is also one of my most unusual fashion posts as I went for a different look.
The post I wrote on my most favourite walk from Cromer to Sheringham sees a good few hits and I very much hope people follow in my footsteps as it’s a brilliant route.
Quite often it’s the post that takes the most time to compile that falls under the radar, but the incidental off-the-cuff offerings somehow get more reads. There’s no accounting for it.
How much time do you commit to blogging now?
Essentially all my photographs are taken regardless of whether I intend to blog them or not as it’s a hobby. Ideally, I can publish every day, Monday to Friday, but in the spring and summer more time is spent outdoors making the most of the daylight. That’s when it’s more on an ‘as and when’ basis. But I always have far more content than I have time and days to turn it in to blog posts. There’s just so much to share.
Have you met many other Norfolk bloggers?
A few years ago I did try to network but it really isn’t for me. I’m most definitely a solitary blogger. Give me my camera and let me roam the countryside and I’ll bring back my content. If it connects with people then all the better, but I am not a social being.
Are you local to Norfolk?
Born in Norfolk, raised in Suffolk then moved back here to my homeland ten years ago. Love it.
What do you love about the county?
The diversity of the county is astonishing. We have northerly, easterly and technically eesterly coastlines; cliffs, sandy beaches, pebbles.
There are dense modern forests, ancient woodlands and nature reserves in pockets; some no larger than a single tree.
There are the Brecks – those sandy plains – the Broads, the borderline fenland. It’s assumed Norfolk is flat but there are a good few hills if you look hard enough.
The acres and acres of farmland which paint the landscape in a beautiful patchwork of colours; mini meadows.
Read more: 10 reasons Norfolk is awesome
Our fine city of Norwich and the small market towns. Long national trails paths to walk, rivers that meander around the county, lanes that wind around the forgotten back of beyond. Hidden gems of villages.
The countryside is beautiful, nothing short of inspirational, with views which can span miles. Wildlife, wonderful encounters which take your breath away.
The countryside is beautiful, nothing short of inspirational
History, buckets of it to be discovered; Nelson, Boudicca, Howard Carter. The Queen lives here! The genius of Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge.
Those big open skies which yield the most stunning of sunsets. Let’s not forget the middle of nowhere spots which on a clear night can reveal a sky full of more stars than you could ever count.
We’re so fortunate to live in such a largely unspoiled part of the country.
Want to read more interviews with inspiring people from Norfolk? Take a look at the Big Interview section.
Images courtesy of Sophie in the Sticks.