Olivia O’Brien

Meet writer and blogger Olivia Red O’Brien.

We’re rather jealous of Olivia, as Red really is her middle name. ‘I’ve had to prove that it’s my name on various occasions,’ she says. ‘But I’ve grown to love it!’ The reason behind the name? ‘I looked like a Wotsit when I was born. ‘Red’ was far more affectionate than ‘Ginge’, I presume…’

Olivia is a self-confessed crisp fiend, who believe that fairly lights can transform the bleakest of rooms. She also loves charity work and volunteer although ‘I readily admit that I don’t commit nearly enough. However, I do all I can to promote the need for donations and gifts via social media sites.’

The quote Olivia lives by is ‘Tomorrow the sun will rise and set… the rest is up for grabs’ – a ‘beautiful and honest, yet scary, thought’.

Read on.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I studied English Lit at the University of Exeter. The reason my blog is called The London Ladybird is because I have forever been told that I have ‘buggy eyes’. Consequently, someone at school christened me as ‘Ladybird’. After sixth form came university where I missed London terribly and therefore decided to write a blog. The London Ladybird was born.

My work was shortlisted for the prestigious Cosmo Blog Awards under the Lifestyle by Handpicked Media category earlier this year. My ultimate dream is to write a novel. Something I have already started working on…

Although I like to believe that I’m liberal and open-minded, I am actually very traditional in my values, beliefs and hopes. I want an enormous family with one ginger child, a lovely house in West London and wish to be married only once to the love of my life.

What are your inspirations?

The inspiration for my writing stems from the every day. So, conversations I have, dates I go on, things that I am personally going through and things that are happening in my friend’s lives which they moan to me about. So quite literally: anything and everything I come across. I try to think about advice that I wish I’d had. People are sick to death of ‘grown-ups’ giving them advice so thought I would take a shot at helping people with their own issues by addressing them in the immediate present rather than with fifty years of hindsight. So for example, if I break up with someone, I won’t wait to address it five years down the line. I will try and address it as soon as possible. This way, the emotion is raw and I will be far more honest about how I’m dealing with it.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

Although I am so happy with how my blog has progressed over the past year, I am most proud of the last project in my final year of university (right). I reflected the collective memory of women through letters sent to modern American female poets such as Lorinne Niedecker and Gertrude Stein. I spent roughly four months working on it and actually enjoyed handing it over to be marked. Even if it hadn’t received a top mark; I wouldn’t have cared. As for my blog, being asked to guest-blog for a website was an amazing experience. And my favourite blog post of all time would have to be: “The Fart” as it is probably the most honest (and therefore most cringe worthy). I definitely prefer my later posts to the earlier ones.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

My favourite creative would have to be lifestyle journalist Cherry Healey. She is so admirable in the lengths she goes to for research, the topics she covers are so current and the execution of the fruits of her research on camera is fantastic. She achieves what my blog strives to do: take the simple and remind people that it’s okay to find the mundane so important, whilst keeping it interesting. She is also incredibly inspirational, honest and maintains a positive mindset-something I strive to promote.

Browse Olivia’s blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @LondonLadybird.

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