The 22nd April marked the 7th Anniversary of Love London Love Culture. Emma Clarendon reflects on these seven years and how there is still plenty to come.

If I’m being completely honest – I’m not quite sure where the last seven years has disappeared to as it genuinely feels like it was only the other day that I sat down and decided to write about all my favourite topics to talk about. But as it is, I’m so proud that I have been able to keep it going for as long as I have done even if there have been a few hiccups or changes along the way (whether that’s starting a new full time job or unwittingly being involved in a twitter drama).

When I first started, I genuinely wasn’t sure how many people would be interested in reading my thoughts on all things culture – it was just going to be my little record of everything that I have seen and experienced. But now, I’m so pleased to say that it has expanded to allow me to work alongside many wonderful people including PR’s and Producers as well as meeting fellow critics and bloggers – from whom I have learnt so much about my own style of writing and the direction I wanted to take Love London Love Culture in. Apologies, I wasn’t going to go down the route of gushing so much but I’m genuinely grateful for what it has done for me and my self confidence on a personal level as well.

Whether it has been going to see top class productions such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Cabaret, attending the BFI London Film Festival or getting to read a new book before its published – I know that I’m very privileged to be doing what I love on top of my day job and will always do my best to cover as much as possible. But I’m really grateful for starting Love London Love Culture because it has allowed me to come out of my shell to talk to new people and have a little bit of faith in my writing and to allow myself to express myself in a way I’m comfortable with.

Yes during the various lockdowns I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep going – but thankfully with the rise in digital theatre (huge applause again for all theatremakers)- I was able to keep writing and Love London Love Culture kept me sane (well sort of!) during those difficult periods.

I know several people who have had to take a break just wanting a breather – and I understand why – particularly with a day job means that I have had to slow down in terms of content (although somehow I have set up a podcast as well!) for the website. But I can’t give it up as it makes me happy.

So yes, while I acknowledge that in terms of content I’m putting less out there than I used to and I can’t attend as many events or cover as much as I would like, I’m still here and going to support the cultural industry as much as possible to try and provide as much insight as possible as an independent writer. I still have so much to say and do with Love London Love Culture and I’m really quite grateful for all the support from everybody that I have received for the last seven years! Here’s to the next seven!

By Emma Clarendon