Our third installment of #FollowFriday takes us to Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, where we meet Victoria (not Vicky!) Brant, the superwoman behind Diary of a Wimpy Eventer and author of How to Get Your Leg Over. I have been following Victoria since the very beginning of her blog, and have gone out of my way to change my Facebook settings so her posts come up first in my News Feed – she writes every post from the bottom of her heart, with complete honest, and (most importantly!) no filter! I have either laughed or cried (or both!) at every post she has put up, and I’ve taken a lot from her musings and insights that she has shared. With a house move, a new business and her first book taking off, I’m surprised she had the time to chat to me, but I am thrilled she agreed to be part of #FollowFriday. Many of you will already follow her, but for those of you that don’t, I promise you that you’ll be glad you did!
Name: Victoria Brant (Vic for short – NEVER Vicky)
Location: Lincolnshire, UK
Blog Name: Diary of a Wimpy Eventer
Social Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Horse(s): Pauldarys Master Patrick – Pat, 11yo Irish TBxID, bay, spooks at things a lot!
- What inspired you to start Diary of a Wimpy Eventer, why do you do it?
I decided on creating the page on my Honeymoon! Rock bottom confidence in my riding before the wedding and time to think in the sun on a lounger – et voila! I needed to take action – I needed to do it before I sold up and gave up, it was what saved us, 100%.
- You’ve had some pretty big successes from the blog – 15,000 followers, a finalist in the Blue Chip All Star Academy, and a sell-out book, all in under a year! What do you think has contributed to this success, and what advice would you give others based on your experience?
I’ve worked for it, every single waking moment is spent whirling with ideas, plans and new things we could do. I rarely stop planning in my brain. I have stuck to a plan and seen it through and tried my hardest to fight for what I want to achieve. I want to be brave, I want to succeed, I don’t want to feel inferior or down trodden and most of all I want other people to be able to feel this too. The best advice is to work as hard as you can in the most brutally honest way you know how.
- I pre-ordered your book, waited impatiently for it to arrive, and devoured it in a day! What made you decide to write a book – and how did you choose what content went into it?
The followers on the blog made the book suggestion, I’d love to say it was a genius concept that I had from the beginning [laughs] but alas, it was not! I’m no writer… I took every single post printed off over 8 months, a highlighter, bottle of wine and my husband to the pub and we went through every word! I then added over 60,000 words of new back content and that was that. I write EVERYTHING first draft and that’s how it stays so the process is more about filter rather than edit. – Oh and removing ‘rudities’ 😉
- Beyond the book, what’s been your proudest moment or achievement since you started this journey? What do you think you owe that success to?
The riding… I have come on so much, I am so proud of registering and getting out there AFFILIATED!! I NEVER thought that would happen, not in a million years. Pin pointing it to a single moment would have to be my XC round at Littleton Manor last October– my first ever BE event with Pat. I was spewing in the warm up through fear and came back sobbing with pride. I have never felt anything like it in my life. – That’s what hooked me in!
I owe nearly all of it to my husband, I have very little time where my phone isn’t in my hand – I manage the blog, 4 social accounts and writing the next 2 books around 2 jobs and my horse, never mind competing! – he has to be one of the most understanding and supportive husbands of all time!
- What has been the biggest challenge or hurdle you’ve faced since you started this journey? How did you overcome it?
Dealing with negativity. I am extremely sensitive and wear my heart on my sleeve, I am open and honest and treat everyone how I would like to be treated, sometimes this isn’t reciprocated and it hurts more than people realise. People misunderstand what I am about, they think I am fake and in truth, I haven’t overcome it at all. I file it away somewhere in my brain and when I feel low it comes back to get me. But that’s ok, I am very happy with who I am and what I’m about. Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind… right?!
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My husband once said (probably after a couple of beers); There is always more than one route to success and achieving your goals, if it’s not working out, change your path, don’t change your goal. He has never been more right.
- You talk about chip-pi**ers – people who have a tendency to belittle others’ success, make them feel less than adequate, or in my words ‘those judging from the sidelines’. How have you learned to deal with these types of people over the years, and follow your own path despite how they might make you feel?
I touched on it earlier and perhaps I need to take a little more of my own advice at times – but I bloody well will continue to be successful and progress in all avenues of life. I will, regardless of anyone who says I can’t. Do you know what… it only makes me want it more!! They’ll wish they were nicer to me when I’m famous!! 😉
- What is the one thing you would like your readers to take away from your blog?
Oh, just one!? I’ll tell you something else for nothing… 😊 That blog isn’t about me anymore. NOPE! I write things down and yes, that airs them from my brain and my worries, but in actual fact I just want to help people now. I want other people to feel like I do roaring through the finish flags of a cross country, I want them to feel strong and confident in who they are and enjoy the time they spend with their horses. I want them to recognise tiny achievements as massive successes and know that it IS absolutely, 100% normal to be scared.
If I have to strip down to my bare soul to show them that that’s okay, then that’s what I will do – no questions asked. You know, sometimes, people just need someone – I’m glad to be that someone for so many people.
Thank you so much to Victoria for taking the time to speak so truthfully about her journey and why she does what she does. I hope you all found it interesting. If you want to read more, make sure to follow her journey – subscribe, like, follow – or chat in the comments below! Her first book ‘How to Get Your Leg Over’ is available to buy for just £6.99 and you can buy here.