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Monday, October 1, 2012
Katie Khan, the force behind Awkward Situations For Girls, talks about her blogging experience and her inspiration behind starting a blog.
Q. Please tell us a little about yourself.
A. Do I do this in the third person? I always find that embarrassing. Here we go. Katie Khan was born in London and chose her second name to honour her grandfather's antics as a Major in the Gurkhas during the Second World War. Formerly an online writer for Channel 4 and occasionally the male-skewing TV channel Dave, Katie started a female-skewing website which grew into the blogging monolith Awkward Situations For Girls. At present shortlisted for Best Sex and Relationship Blog at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, Katie actually writes nothing about sex but everything about relationships. Especially the embarrassing parts.
Q. What inspired you to be a blogger?
A. I spent some time working as a copywriter, which meant I was writing brand web pages which weren't very inspiring and were rather static, with every word requiring approval. I wanted somewhere online where I could make lots of jokes instead.
Q. What do you blog about?
A. I blog about every potentially awkward situation someone might come across on an average day in London: being targeted by buskers on trains; falling down stairs in front of schoolchildren; falling in love with inappropriate men; navigating female urinals at summer festivals.
Q. How long have you been blogging?
A. I have been blogging since 2008, when I was a lowly PA at the BBC. I wanted to join their web team, so I wrote a secret blog and showed it to the web producers. They liked it, and let me review films and write quizzes and small bits. And on the side, my blog gained an audience and a following on Twitter, which helped me move into writing full-time.
Q. How would you describe your blogging style?
A. My style is quite story-led. I'm not the type of blogger who puts up five or six posts a week featuring photos of catwalks, or cat memes. I write about things as and when they happen and I try to make them at least entertaining. I'm also writing a novel, so for practice I try to treat each blog post like a standalone story. I want anyone reading it to walk away with a rounded experience, thinking: "I know what she meant, there." Maybe. Hopefully.
Q. Who are your favourite London bloggers?
A. My favourite London bloggers are a varied bunch: Gareth Edwards, a comedy writer/producer, writes an off-the-wall blog called Some Kind of Explanation; while Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open follows the everyday life of a London girl, who writes so personally and eloquently you can't help but keep returning to see how she gets on. This Little Lady Went To London features great reviews and competitions - I'm always trying to win things on there. And because I work in film, my favourite film blogs are The Shiznit and The Incredible Suit. They're hilarious.
Q. What does London mean to you?
A. London is my hometown: I was born in Highgate, and now live in Muswell Hill. It's an amazing place, but with dark corners - London during the riots last year was ugly. That wasn't the city I know and love. On the day after the riots I drove around collecting donations for people made homeless in Tottenham - I collected from anyone who tweeted me on Twitter. That was an immediate reminder that Londoners do care, and can be compassionate. I made new friends on that day.
Q. How would you describe London in three words?
A. Inspiring. Expensive. Home.