March 04, 2016

How do I even begin to describe French Girl In DC? After many changes of concept, content and direction, it has become a virtual catalogue of all the things that make life enjoyable and add quality to it, specifically from the point of view of a young French-Lebanese lesbian woman living in the DC area. Without pretense, French Girl In DC is a constantly-growing lifestyle double-guide, for both expats and locals who seek the effortless quality of life that comes so easily overseas. 

Started in 2011 as a fashion and beauty blog, it has evolved to become a space where I share the things I love. But this blog is also a journal showing my atypical evolution through life, love, and everything in between, from taking an indefinite break from university and beginning a novel, and the trials and tribulations of lesbian love life. 

Who am I?
I am many things: a redhead, a cat-lover, a bookworm, a tarot-reader, an opera addict, a Pisces, a double-expatriate searching for her place and identity in a globalised world, a proud lesbian despite the very complicated love life that comes with this. 

After graduating the French high school system with the highest exam grades and honours, I studied for a year at a renowned university, but ended up, for many reasons, taking an indefinite leave of absence. I worked at a hair salon, as a model, a baby-sitter, a private tutor; I held an administrative position at the school where I had formerly been a student, and also managed to survive an entire week as a canvasser for the Human Rights Campaign. But I knew all along that my true calling was writing, that I lived to create, and I always saw the people around me, and the experiences I lived, as endless sources of inspiration. And this is how I live, up to this day. I see life as a moving, living, infinite well of inspiration. 

Aside from the project that I refer to as The Novel, which is still unfinished, I am the author of Rourousse ou les déboires d'une expat' à Washington D.C. An English version of this book will be available soon. 

Why do I blog?

I started this blog at 19, certainly with dreams of greatness but no real idea on how to achieve them. Today, almost five years later, I still do not have a specific strategy to become the next recipient of the CFDA awards, but I’ve learned that the best way to be satisfied with my work is to be authentic, and to write what I would like myself to read. 

I realized that despite having a literary spirit and wanting to write fiction, I needed a platform to express myself on subjects of everyday life, and to share my love for fashion, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle. Fiction wasn’t going to be enough, and I didn’t want to rush through it and end up sending a half-decent novel to an editor that would never again take me seriously, just for the sake of doing something. Good fiction is something that takes a lot of time to achieve. 

I feel extremely rewarded and fulfilled when I get positive feedback on my work, be it directly on the blog, or on social media. I like nothing more than to hear that a moodboard I created inspired a reader to create an outfit, that another read a book or listened to an opera that I mentioned, visited a restaurant I recommended, learned how to read the tarot, or even ended up buying a stylish item for her home! 

How did my blog evolve?

In the last five years, I’ve found myself expanding the topics I talked about. I’ve had the pleasure of featuring guest-bloggers and collaborating with very diverse brands. I explored several writing styles until I found my true voice. And slowly, my blog evolved to fit under the flexible and wide “lifestyle” umbrella. 

But the road wasn’t entirely smooth. I’ve been discouraged several times, have taken breaks from blogging, and have made many unsuccessful attempts at radical redesign and rebranding. In the end, I’ve realized that the best change comes slowly and progressively, in order to be steady and successful.

My decision to translate posts to French (since October 2015) came because I wanted to be true to myself and my French identity is a very important part of me. There are certain things I express better in French (like all personal posts, especially those pertaining to love) and then translate mechanically to English, so I’ve decided to include a French version of each post. 

After much deliberation, I’ve changed my blog’s name from “Sonushka” to “French Girl In DC” at the beginning of this year. This change, part of a progressive rebranding, helped me define much better the mission statement of my blog and the direction it is taking.

What’s coming tomorrow? Where is French Girl In DC going?

As of today, I’m still trying to figure out how to change the URL and migrate to Wordpress, so thank you for bearing with me! 

I’m working on an online store where I list vintage or otherwise unique items I love.
And yes, there was an initial book project that I scrapped, because it was not the right time. It remains somewhere on my hard drive in the form of a draft, waiting to re-emerge in the daylight when I will be ready. 

But I’m slowly brainstorming ideas of downloadable items that could bring useful information to my readers, along with a series of Youtube videos and possibly podcasts. 
And I’ve always been very tempted to launch a stationery line, and a line of homemade natural candles. 

But what the wisdom of my twenties has taught me is that there’s no reason to rush things and spread oneself too thin. Everything will happen in its own time, and the most important thing is to know how to enjoy the journey!

So thank you all for being part of it!

Love, S

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