Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer is a journalist and editor of the delightful Peppermint Magazine. Find out more about her creative career, and the things which make her tick.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I grew up between New Zealand and Scotland, so I have a slightly weird accent, but on the plus side, I have two passports (hurrah!) and feel equally at home on both sides of the world.
I have an honour’s degree in English and a masters in Journalism. After uni, I moved to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam for six months to teach English. It was also where I got my first taste of being a journalist – I started freelancing for a local magazine, which sent me all across the city on the back of a motorbike to interview lots of weird and wonderful people.
What do you do?
I’m editor at Peppermint magazine – a quarterly Australian publication focused on style, sustainability and substance. We’re an independently owned publication telling the stories of people doing good in the world, covering topics such as ethical fashion, food, body positivity, mindfulness, zero-waste living and lots more – and each issue is certified carbon neutral. We also run a series of events called PepTalks, where we gather our community together for inspirational, uplifting talks from people from the pages of Peppermint and beyond.
Tell us about your career
Apart from a brief stint as (possibly the world’s worst) radio news reporter, I’ve always worked with the written word. I started by writing for free and building up a decent portfolio before getting my first job as editor of an Edinburgh-based website and then moving to Brisbane and eventually nabbing the role of deputy editor at Peppermint.
The biggest challenge in my career was finding a role where I could use my skills to do something that felt like I was contributing to the world in a meaningful way. That type of job is super rare, so I’m still – five years later – so grateful to have found it in Peppermint.
There are SO many things I love about my job, but getting to interview amazing people I admire is a definite highlight – as is working with such a close-knit team of cool, clever creative women. And the days we get sent free donuts are pretty great too.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Depending on what stage of the production cycle we’re at, you might find me dreaming up content ideas, briefing freelance writers and photographers, interviewing people, going over budgets, liaising with advertisers, editing stories, looking through photoshoots, helping to plan/strategise online content, brainstorming coverlines, and, of course, answering a million emails. There’s a fair bit of swooning over beautiful ethical brands too, which never ends well for my bank balance.
Best creative memory?
Best creative memory? That feeling when you’re writing and you’re so deep in the zone that you don’t notice time passing or get the urge to check social media. Cal Newport has a book about this called Deep Work, which should probably be next on my to-read list.
What do you get up to when not working?
At the moment I’ve been doing lots of pickling, knitting, reading, op-shopping and listening to podcasts (Desert Island Discs, The High Low and Soul Music are my current faves). And I do enjoy a big ol’ stomp around the streets with my dog by my side.
What’s on the horizon for the future?
You never quite know what’s in store for the future so I always try and remind myself to stop and be present (and grateful) in this moment – but fingers crossed it involves continuing to do work that feels meaningful to me.
If you had any creative business advice what would it be?
I’m not entrepreneurial at all and am in complete awe of anyone who manages to run their own business. I saw a quote from Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day a little while ago that said something along the lines of: “If you run a creative business and you’re making it work financially then you’re basically a genius”. So high five to all you geniuses out there.
If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be and why?
Can it be a fictional person? Lyra from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy for her fearlessness, bravery and sense of adventure – and also because she has an animal demon who’s always with her, which is basically my dream come true.