Scarlett Curtis: on writing, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink & other lies, and (not) staying on top of emails

Scarlett Curtis is an award-winning writer, activist and knitter (just as important, I feel). She curated Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies, which has just won a National book award! She also founded the Pink Protest and has written for almost every magazine and newspaper going.

Once I’d finished the audiobook I knew I wanted to talk to Scarlett about all the things. I’m in awe of her work, her openness about mental health and why it can be such a struggle, as well as feeling an affinity towards her because one of my ballet teachers used to call me Scarlett.

Charlotte: Tell me about what you do and what you’re working on right now.

Scarlett: I am a writer and activist. I run a group called the Pink Protest and we organise regular events and activism campaigns aimed at getting young girls into activism. At the moment I’m wrapping up work on Feminists Don’t Wear Pink & other lies and planning for the future!

 How did you get started in writing professionally? Was writing something you always wanted to do?

I started writing when I left school at 14 due to chronic illness and started a knitting blog! I thought I wanted to be a professional knitter but it turned out I was better at writing than knitting!

 How do you deal with writer’s block and have you got a way of staying in a creative mindset?

I try not to be too hard on myself! If you work for 12 hours on writing something you might only going to have 1 productive hours within those 12 but that one hour is worth it!

 Feminists Don’t Wear Pink has been such a triumph! What gave you the idea and what was it like getting all those amazing women to contribute?

The book is a collection of writing from 52 amazing women on what feminism means to them. I knew that I never wanted to write a book about feminism on my own but I really wanted to create something that tried to bridge the gap between feminist hashtags and scholarly text and also create a snapshot of what the feminism movement looks like today. It was a long and really fun process! We either wanted people who hadn’t written about the topic before or amazing activists who the general public might not have heard of! We also have 10 teenage girls in the book which was something that was really important to me as this book is for them so should be written by them too!

 What was the thing that surprised you the most about the book and what was the biggest thing you learnt from it?

I was surprised at how nervous some people were to write something! So many women don’t feel qualified enough to talk about feminism and I think this is one of the biggest lies we have to smash around the feminist movement! I learnt more than ever that the feminist movement is diverse and different and one woman’s feminism is very different from another womans understanding of the movement!

 How do you handle the business elements of your work? Do you enjoy them, or would you rather let someone else handle it?

I do enjoy it but I’m not very good at it yet! It’s something I really want to work on as I’m fascinated by business!

 How do you manage all of your projects?

Not very well! I’m currently in bed on a Saturday answering 100 unread emails! If you have any tips please let me know.

 Stress can impact creativity a lot. How do you deal with stress?

I try not to put too much pressure on myself which can be hard!

What advice would you give someone looking to get into writing and is there anything you wish you’d known before becoming a writer?

I think the best advice is just to WRITE! The first 200 pages you write are going to be bad so you need to get them out of you before you get to the good stuff!

Have you got any big goals for the future? Is there anything you’re desperate to do?

I want to end gender inequality!

You can get Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies here.You can also listen to the Feminists podcast and keep up to date with all the goings on via the website.

If you’re an audiobook lover (like myself and Scarlett) you can get a free trial with Audible.

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Balancing Act is a regular series with contributors from all of the creative industries.

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3 Comments

  1. Colleen Mitchell
    November 24, 2018 / 12:56 am

    Sounds like Scarlett needs a virtual assistant with all those unread emails! Great write up.

    • charlotteproduces
      Author
      November 25, 2018 / 7:36 am

      That’s exactly what I was thinking! Thanks so much x

  2. November 25, 2018 / 6:15 am

    It is good you have joined the fight to end gender inequality . I think we have a long way to go as these inequalities have become entrenched in our society. I admire your pursuit.

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