Where's the I.T. guy when you need him? That's a question I often find myself asking when Mia Freedman and I get a chance to chat about blogging issues... of which, there are many, like how I spent half my day working out how to use iMovie and upload a clip to YouTube (hope it's worth it for you, guys!).
Having recently upgraded mamamia.com.au, while, you know, writing a memoir, appearing on Today, writing her weekly Sunday Life column, chairing the Body Image Advisory Board and raising three children, I've always been amazed by Mia's capacity to find the time to have a chat. She is extremely generous: with her time, advice and encouragement, thanks, in part, to the mentoring she received as a wet-behind-the-ears editor at ACP.
It's this spirit of generosity that permeates her memoir. I believe it is a kind thing for women who are in the public eye to be open about their shortcomings and failures... when the timing is right. For example, it probably wouldn't be a good idea for Anna Wintour to all of a sudden get openly teary about how hard it is to maintain her visage of perfection. Because that is what she peddles as the editor of Vogue. In the same vein, while Mia was editor of Cosmopolitan, she chose not to share the fact that she was married or had children with her readers in order to maintain her relatability.
Currently on the periphery of the magazine industry (she maintains strong friendships with former colleagues but now is lucky to find the time to flick through the odd issue of Who), Mia is in a place where she feels confident to open up about her frailties and life's challenges. And she does so in her memoir – to the point where I feel like she might be overcompensating for her success. But her realism – and humour – is something that clearly resonates with women. The proof's in the blog traffic.
I hope you enjoy my chat with Mia, whose memoir, Mama Mia: A Memoir of Mistakes, Magazines and Motherhood (HarperCollins; $27.99), went on sale today (buy it here!). Please excuse my excessive 'ums', 'kind ofs' and amateur production values: this is new territory for GWAS (yeah, yeah, video is, like, the new frontier in blogging... five years ago). Oh, and turn the volume down on your computer!
Girl With a Satchel
P.S. Having "issues" with the video? Head to YouTube to watch it.