I’m officially back and yes, The Single Supplement is now officially award-winning, which I will be milking (see below for more info!). Huge thanks to everyone who voted for me.
Thanks so much again for bearing with me as I took a much needed break. I really appreciate all your lovely emails and messages. My favourite ones were the ones were people said it was empowering to read a woman asserting herself and putting up healthy boundaries. I hope this will inspire you to take a break and put up boundaries when you need to as well.
The truth is I had reached a point where I was not enjoying writing this newsletter and had totally lost track of why it was important and what its purpose was. The pandemic had made it difficult for me to be creative and come up with ideas and I felt totally burned out with work. I was also finding it difficult to be single and was spending too much time on my own, climbing the walls and being in my head too much. This last lockdown really was the hardest for me and I am so grateful that it is finally starting to ease in England where I live. Solidarity to those who are still in lockdown or are going back into lockdown.
Anyway, I continued struggling through each week because I didn’t want to let anyone down but taking a break has rejuvenated me. Around midway through my break, I was listening a podcast and suddenly I remembered why I do this and why I love it (more on this soon). From then on I have had ideas coming out my eyeballs and I have been so excited to come back and write to you all each week again.
I thought it was a good time to introduce myself again for those who are new as well as those who have been here a while.
I’m a 36-year-old Brit living in Shropshire (after having left London the day before the first lockdown in this country!). I have been single for a long time and didn’t used to like talking about it. Now I basically shout it from the rooftops because I believe we shouldn’t be ashamed of being on our own.
I have a sister, Rachel, who helps me moderate this newsletter’s Facebook group. Our family has a dog called Ruby, who I often mention. She lives with my parents but I look after her regularly. I live alone in a two-bed terrace house, which I rent. Having my own space is important for my wellbeing but I also thrive on being around people. The pandemic has been hard for that reason. I know I will love my house even more when I’m allowed to have friends over and people to visit me for the weekend.
Work-wise, I’m a freelance journalist, writer and public speaker. In my journalism work, I mainly write for the Guardian, the Evening Standard and Positive News but my byline has also been in the Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and HuffPost, among others. My life writing work has appeared in Refinery29, The iPaper, The Guardian, metro.co.uk and the Independent. Side note: when writing this I had to force myself not to put my work credentials first in this mini bio. I often have to remind myself that I am more than just my job!
This post on Instagram has some more info about who I am (including some fun facts)
I founded this newsletter in October 2019 because I was sick of the lack of quality content out there for independent women. I wanted to read articles and opinions that didn’t patronise me or assume I was miserable or desperate all the time.
The newsletter has evolved and now very much explores the highs and lows of the single experience. I also curate articles, podcasts and other bits of good content that I think readers will find interesting, enjoyable or thought-provoking. I love having guest writers and also enjoy interview awesome single people to help ensure I am sharing a wide variety of perspectives. I have some brilliant people lined up for you in the next few months so watch this space!
Those who follow me on Instagram will know that I have been obsessively listening to the Sentimental and The City podcast series by Dolly Alderton and Caroline O'Donoghue. I love the manifesto Dolly reads at the beginning of each episode stating what listeners can expect and thought it would be a great thing to do for The Supp so am stealing their idea.
The Single Supplement manifesto
This is not exclusively a place to only discuss the good parts of being single although my mission is to shine a light on the positive parts of being single and try to help break the stigma that so many of us face.
This is not solely a place to moan about being single although sometimes the writing will be about negative experiences and feelings because it’s important not to brush over the hard stuff.
This is not going to be a place of judgement for those who either aren’t interested in finding anyone or those who are very much up for finding someone as soon as possible.
This is not a place that is exclusively for those who are happily single for life and never want to find a partner although I will hold space for those that feel that way.
This is not a dating column but occasionally dating will come up.
This is not a place to bash those who are in relationships. Dragging others down isn’t the best way to elevate ourselves. Having said that it is also important to call out hurtful comments that are often said to single people so this will be a space for that too.
I’m particularly interested in exploring the single experience as a whole and delving into all the juicy, nitty gritty feelings and circumstances that go with being on your own in this world.
This newsletter will also explore life in general through a single person’s lens. This includes things like careers, finance, body image, confidence, self-esteem, domestic life, holidays and travel and much more. (To that end from now on, not all of the recommendations I feature will be about/by a single person but ones I think you will find interesting.)
I would love to hear from you about people you think should be featured in my interviews. Is there an influencer you love who is single and awesome? Is there someone who has recently had a book out that you loved? Please email me email@example.com with your suggestions.
Lots of love,
The big news I have had this weekend is that The Single Supplement is officially an award-winning newsletter! Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to vote for me in Newsletter Fest’s awards. I won in the Niche newsletter category and I am absolutely chuffed.
What made me think
Even the headline of this article hit me like a sucker punch. Part of me wants to rail against it because it’s an annoying stereotype to assume people are single because they are “career women” and another part of me recognises myself in some of the case studies featured. Here’s some quotes that stood out: “There was a sense that, if you gave it your all and you did it with integrity and love and all those things, then it would eventually work out for you.” But recently she had a moment of realisation. “I can’t afford my rent, I have no savings, I have no partner, I have no family. I’m 38 and most of my friends have families; they’re buying houses,” she says. “There is a lot of grief around that. I feel like I’ve just landed on Earth, like a hard crash on to the ground, and am looking around and feeling quite lonely.”
Things you should check out
'I Started Fertility Treatment Alone And In Another Country' The Reality Of Trying For A Baby Alone In A Pandemic – Laura Barton for Grazia magazine.
Consider This: Homeownership As a Single Woman – Verily mag
Settle in. The Uplift is here – new newsletter alert! This is a lovely one by my friend Becky Barnes.
The easing of lockdown means I am rediscovering the joy of living alone – also by Becky for the i paper
Platonic best friends marry each other as their connection ‘transcends romance’ – Tanyel Mustafa for metro.co.uk
What Sex and the City taught me about the joy of fandom by Caroline O'Donoghue in Harper’s Bazaar.
'I've Been the Problem All Along!' – Ask Polly agony aunt column, which has now moved to Substack and is actually called Ask Molly now.
Memory, mindset and the self: Taking your life writing to the next level – Tiffany Philippou and I have put together a new set of writing classes. I’m excited!
Why not me? – The Tiff Weekly newsletter (this one is about a conversation Tiff and I had and her thoughts on professional jealousy.
Words I love
How should a woman live her life? Survive to the age of 70, fearfully, being as everyone else instructs her to be? Or play the heroine, passionately, in the knowledge that trying and failing need not equal defeat?
Classifieds coming soon!
I am going to add a classifieds section to this newsletter. If you are a business owner or have something to promote and want to reach more than 5,000 readers, email me firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘CLASSIFIEDS’ in the subject line.
Info for paying subscribers
I know I said to expect your subs to be switched back on but I decided to wait as I want to send you a special email detailing a few changes. I’ll be turning them back on today and will be back with the agony aunt column this week. The column will include an update and all the info you need! Thanks so much for bearing with me. Your support means the world to me. I can’t thank you enough.
For those who don’t know, I’m Nicola Slawson, a freelance journalist who lives in Shropshire, UK. If you would like to support what I do, please consider subscribing to be a paid supporter of The Single Supplement. If you would prefer to make a one-off contribution, you can also buy me a coffee, here’s the link to my Ko-Fi page. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
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