I’ve decided it’s time to kill off “Rye, Me”. It’s been swell, but the swelling’s gone down now.
I will still be writing features for Rye News, I’m not leaving completely. In the 18 months since I started this column, I’ve featured drag queens, Grayson Perry’s Rye queer dads, Disney dance classes, drunken scallop recipes, a Japanese tea party, post natal trash TV bingeing, a posh Christmas fair and a jack-o-lantern haired pumpkin patch owner and even managed to shoehorn in my favourite advert in the Floral Edition.
Other titles included: Paper Bags, Painkillers and Pyjamas, I’ve Lost my Heart To Halloween, English Effervescence, The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful,
I’ve interviewed a Britain’s Got Talent star, tried body stress release, had a massage from an ex- comedian, eaten glittering homemade cakes and sipped champagne (in Rye Lodge of all places) with the now sadly defunct Truly Scrumptious Bakes, did my own TOWIE tour of Brentwood and enjoyed a wine drenched evening with the brilliant Richard and Jenny at their haunted B&B Jeakes House. I even wrote about my C-section and recovery.
I found my voice as a feminist, sharing the success and endeavours of Rye women. Wedding Stylist Jen Sinclair, Dance Teacher Stacey Caister, Florists Leanne Benn and Tamsin Scott, marathon runners Amy Kett and Sarah Curd, Actress Ali Adams and make up artist Courtenay Rae Fairweather to name a few.
Writing for Rye News has been many things. A welcome mind-focus during maternity leave, a reason to have a glass of wine, a reason to get out and meet people, eat food, experience things. And sometimes, it was a joyless task. Every now and then I felt like I was talking to an empty room.
But it set me in a direction.
I completed a journalism course, set up my own website and rediscovered my passion for writing. I never would have done these things, had I not seen that poster and attended that first Rye News meeting over two years ago and met Tony and Jane Nunn, the first editors.
I spent hours trawling, researching and interviewing to find the best of this area for my readers, and gathered a decent following.
For my effort, I’ve had a lot of praise – “I’m beaming with pride at being included in Rye, Me” – as well as indifference from people and businesses I’ve featured. I’ve been “accused” of writing like a tabloid journalist – which I was flattered by- Frankie Boyle’s column in the Sun is hilarious- and I’ve been accused of “only writing about the High street”
Oh and I got a few nuisance calls from someone who REALLY didn’t like a certain piece I wrote.
I’ve been 99% positive in my writing, and, I’d say, 1% nasty.
And guess which got (by far) the best reception from my readers?
The one vicious piece I wrote.
I have always brought out the devil in people.
One of my articles was shared on twitter by the editor of Kerrang magazine, and I can count “Jack” from Eastenders as one of my twitter followers, so I guess you could say I’ve made it.
“Miss Rae’s Rye, Me” is evolving into “Miss Rae’s Guide To Rye” on my own magazine website, missraemissout.com
I’m hoping it will become popular amongst younger tourists, as well as direct locals to the new things going on in town.
So, despite the damage to my credibility that removing the title “Columnist” from my social media accounts descriptions and email signature will have, I’m ripping off this band-aid.
The best part of writing “Rye, Me” has been hearing from pro-active, local people who have followed their dreams and started their own businesses doing something they love.
Thank you to everyone who had the initiative to get in touch with me, to share their entrepreneurial endeavours.
Especially the ones who plied me with booze.
Thank you for reminding me that there are truly amazing, inspired people in this little town.
To anyone who is following their dream, I salute you, and thank you for inspiring me to follow mine.
Thank you to Tony and Jane for your time teaching me the ropes and inspiring me- and putting up with my hormonal pregnancy strops, to Kenneth, to John Minter, Charlie Harkness and Neale East for being consistently awesome and getting me, to Seana and Dan for your kind words and support and to anyone who liked shared and commented on or even hated my articles.
Don’t be a stranger.
keep in touch here:
Now who is going to step up and take my place as the next Rye News Columnist?