Think you have a crazy dating story?
I can betcha Simone Paget has an even crazier one! As a sex and relationship columnist, Simone is always pulling from her own life experiences with her fantastic wit and hilarious sense of humour. I have been so proud to watch my friend’s career grow from blogger to a national syndicated columnist. I love Simone Paget and think you will too!
How did you become interested in writing about sex and relationships?
Throughout my twenties I dated extensively and during this time people would always tell me things like, “You have the craziest stories!” I started my blog Skinny Dip on the cusp of my 30th birthday so I would have a place to sort through the romantic wreckage of my 20’s and tell some of these stories. My blog and my freelancing career have grown from there!
How did you end up becoming a national syndicated columnist for Sun Media?
A friend that I met through blogging recommended me for a live-chat video segment Sun Media was producing for Valentine’s Day. The segment went really well and I stayed in touch with the editor. When it came time to hire a new sex and relationship columnist, she approached me. Needless to say, I said yes!
However, this opportunity didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. I’ve been freelance writing and blogging for the past four years. Before working with Sun Media I wrote for 29 Secrets, Canadian Living, Elle Canada, Slice, The Toronto Star and a variety of other online magazines and blogs.
I originally met you in Toronto and was sad to hear that you moved back to your hometown in Victoria. What spurred you back and to stay?
Two years ago I ended a very serious relationship and decided I needed a change of scenery. What was supposed to be a 6 week vacation to visit my parents, turned into a move across the country when I decided to stay. Since moving back I’ve totally fallen back in love with the laid back, healthy West Coast lifestyle. I’ll always love Toronto but moving back to the West was exactly the change of pace I needed at this point in my life.
You mention that you are a magnet for bizarre situations! What do you think it is that attracts these things to you?
Being a writer I’m always looking for the next story, which I think makes me more attune bizarre situations and people. My best friend put it best when she said, “Everyone has these kinds of experiences, you just have a more entertaining way of describing them.” Also, I’ve been told I have a really friendly and open demeanour. My large blue eyes are like a beacon to weirdos everywhere.
What’s a typical day for Simone Paget like?
I usually wake up at 6:15 so I can get dressed and go to my kick-boxing/bootcamp class. I come home around 8am, shower, eat and then start working. I’ll usually start by checking in with the various social media accounts I manage for clients and then dig into whatever writing assignment is most urgent. I usually write 1-3 articles or blog posts daily. If I take the afternoon off, I’ll work in the evenings. Sometimes I work 12 hour days. It’s busy but I love it.
What’s it like being a freelancer? Any tips?
The best part of freelancing is the flexibility (I can work from anywhere) and that I get to do what I love (write). The downside it can be really unpredictable (your income can fluctuate). You need to be able to deal with this kind of uncertainty and have really great time management skills. Be organized. Work hard. Get to know as many people as possible. At least 75% of my work has come from people that I know.
What is the single most important non-negotiable thing for you when designing your lifestyle and career?
Flexibility and balance. After working extensively throughout my 20’s and early 30’s in a variety of different corporate office environments I realized that being tied to a desk in a 9-5 job doesn’t make me happy. I need to have the flexibility to plan my own schedule. Healthy eating and fitness is also very important to me.
What do you do to de-stress?
The lifestyle in Victoria is pretty laid back to begin with, but when I need to distress I usually head down to the beach or the waterfront. Victoria has some really gorgeous beaches and you’re never too far from nature! I also love to go to the gym (I just started learning kick-boxing), browse my favourite vintage stores & hit up the local food and drink scene – which has improved immensely since I last lived here 12 years ago!
Best piece of life advice to share?
1. Don’t compare yourself to others. What’s right for someone else might not be right for you. Instead, put on your blinders and work hard at what you’re doing. The rest will fall into place.
2. Don’t make someone a priority so you can be their option. If someone really wants to be a part of your life, they’ll do what it takes to make that happen. No excuses!
3. Never date a man who shows up to the first date in socks and sandals.