Writer's Block with Jenny Mustard - The Gloss Magazine

Writer’s Block with Jenny Mustard

Jenny Mustard lets us into her writer’s room and talks home, writing, success and more…

Swedish influencer and writer Jenny Mustard is best known for her YouTube video essays on lifestyle, design and literature, which have garnered over 50 million views. She lives in London in a 130-year-old flat with her partner David, with whom she also produces a podcast, The Mustards. Her debut novel Okay Days (Sceptre) was published in June and she is working on a second novel.

ON HOME I’ve moved so much my entire life so for me the one thing that feels like home is David. We’ve lived together in Berlin and Stockholm and London and it’s always just felt very homely to me when he’s there. We really wanted a place that was calm because living in hectic central areas of London kind of drains you a bit. Where we’re living is so green, we have parks and little forests everywhere so for the first time since moving to London, I feel like this is sustainable long-term.

ON MY DESK For the first time in my life I have a writer’s room. I’m one of those people who likes to close the door, put on some music and not be disturbed by anyone when I’m working so this is such a luxury. I’m also one of those people who likes a clutter-free space with white walls, nothing to distract me, just very serene and sparse. The desk I have now is temporary and is simple and white. On it I have my mustard-coloured iMac, of course, some candles, and the books I am reading right now for research. I want to buy a nice vintage desk when everything calms down.

ON WRITING I am happiest when I have the luxury of writing for four or five hours every morning. I am disciplined with my phone when it comes to writing: I don’t have it close to me and would never check social media while I’m writing. That might be one of the reasons I’m so happy when I’m writing because I just don’t see what people are shouting on Twitter.

ON ROOTS I am typically Swedish when it comes to my sensibilities. I do think Swedish culture is so much about having that balance between lightness and dark so that sort of melancholy, subdued culture has definitely influenced my writing. For example, I am allergic to too much sentimentality, I need always to have a bit of an edge. London is definitely my home but every summer I need to go to Sweden. The feeling of going into a food shop and knowing exactly what everything is – your childhood memories of different foods. All the plants in the forest, you know what they’re called … references that go back, not just to your childhood, but to your parents’ generation and your grandparents’ generation. I can only get that extremely sweet feeling of childhood nostalgia in Sweden.

ON SUCCESS As an influencer and novelist, I get to do a lot of really cool things, but if you ask me what my view of success is, it’s being able to financially support myself and David strictly by doing creative work – it doesn’t get better than that. So if someone is giving me a bad review on Goodreads or shouting at me on TikTok, it’s all worth it. Because I just do what I love for a living and there are not many people who get to say that.

ON BOOKSHOPS Libreria, on Hanbury Street in E1, where I had my book launch, is definitely one of my favourites, they have a great edit. And then I love BookBar, a small independent bookshop in northeast London. It hosts a lot of events and they really support authors. Every month they offer a glass of the Wine of the Month for £4 when you buy the Book of the Month. You can sit and have a glass of wine and hang out. Otherwise, if I go into the centre of London, I do the trifecta of Foyles, on Charing Cross Road, and Waterstones and Hatchards on Piccadilly. @edelcoffey

Okay Days written by Jenny Mustard was published by Sceptre in June.


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