Welcome back to INTERVIEWED! Today we’re joined by my friend Dan of DanCooleDaily! This interview was incredibly fun to do, and seriously interesting – enjoy!
DCD: So I blog and sometimes vlog, mainly about Mental Health and the LGBT+ Movement but also a bit of everything else sometimes too!
DG:Brilliant! Could you tell me a bit about your offline life? Like what you do, age, where you live
DCD: What is an offline life? I jest. I’m 23 (and ten months if that counts!) and I live in Liverpool. I’m part of the management team in a retail store so I work full time there. I take an annual trip to Disney World Florida which is the highlight of my year! I’m part of a big family so a lot of my spare time is spent with them. Other then that I’m pretty boring to be fair!
DG:That sounds pretty exciting to me, especially the Disney trip.
DCD: Disney is the best!
DG: What inspired you to start creating content? And what has kept you doing it for so long?
DCD: Mental Health is a big cause for me. I lost a partner when I was 18 to depression, and that is my inspiration. I have suffered from anxiety and depression myself, so I’ve seen the stigma from both sides if you like. Being a man, it’s tough to be either of those things because men aren’t supposed to be emotional – and that’s the stigma I’m trying to change, one blog post at a time! If you can teach people it’s okay not to be okay no matter what your gender – you can save lives!
DG: I’m glad you’re working so hard for a cause you’re passionate for, and turning some hard experiences into something which can change the world!!
DCD: I’m sure your content and work is really reaching people out there and changing people’s lives!
I had a message not so long ago from a man who I’d helped come out to his family, just by reading my blog. That is so powerful. It’s absolutely crazy how what experiences put into words can do!
DG: That’s incredible! Keep up the good work!
DCD: Thank you!
DG: What is your creative process like?
DCD: So my creative process is a little sporadic! I’ve never just written a blog that I felt forced to write or planned. Most of them are spur of the moment emotions or passions. It sounds pretty strange, but I’m sure you know how much better you write when you get a burst of creative passion! Apart from my recipes obviously, most of which are my mums, and I just try and simple them down a bit because lazy baking is the best baking!
DG: Haha I agree! I’m terrible at baking, I need to utilise your blog and improve!
DCD: Haha you do! I’ll give you an easy baking masterclass one day!
DG: Are there any parts of your creative process you find difficult?
DCD: In all honesty, sometimes I find talking about the more gritty side of mental health a bit tough, and it’s not about me or my feelings. It’s more a ‘oh what is my mum or my friends going to think when they read this?’ I know they would never see me as different, and they’re proud that I talk so openly as it encourages others to do so, but there’s still that worry in the back of my mind sometimes..
DG: I understand that, it can be hard to write fully truthfully, not for yourself but for the fear of how someone can perceive you, even though you know it doesn’t matter and they won’t think any different! If that makes any sense at all.
DCD: Yes it makes total sense – you always have a ‘what if’ moment when thinking about how people might perceive your writing!
DG: Have you had any opportunities because of the content you create?
DCD: I’ve not had any branding or advertising work. I got to write an amazing piece on Sepsis which was recognised by the founder of the Sepsis Trust charity and I often get emails from people telling me I’m helping them with what they’re going through, they’re the opportunities I cherish to be fair. In a few weeks I’m heading back to high school to do a few talks on mental health and growing the impact that the ‘online life’ can have on it which is pretty exciting!
DG: Oh wow that’s so cool to have that opportunity with your school. That’ll be a strange experience being in those halls again in that role! What an impact that could have though.
DCD: That’s my plan. I always say if you can engage just one person and have them open up to their mental struggles or even give them the tools to open up to other people’s struggles then that’s my job done!
DG: That’s a great outlook! Many go into this creative world only aiming for ‘fame’, I think your outlook is much healthier.
Do you have a particular moment you’re proudest of? Or a specific post/vlog you’re proudest of?
DCD: Hmm tough one. I probably have to say my Sepsis post is my proudest thus far. The mother of the infamous viral post reached out to me to say thank you personally and it really touched my heart. I have just launched a new vlog series surround mental health, ‘The Depression Diaries’ that I think will be my proudest project once it gets under way!
DG: Brilliant, I hope this new series is everything you hope! I’m sure it will be with your work ethic!
How do you find a balance between your content creation and your career? Making content takes a lot of time!
DCD: I was just about to talk about this haha! I was going to say ‘I don’t know about you, but I find that working on the blog / videos is so much easier than doing a 9-5 shift!’ Maybe it’s because it’s something I am passionate for or something I really enjoy, I’m not sure. But content creation is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night in a good way! The balance between work and blog can be hard to achieve at first but once you get it right, it can really pay off in terms of being productive!
DG: Ah good! It’s such a satisfying feeling when you’ve made use of your own time, especially when you can easily see the results in a video or post.
DCD: It is really satisfying!
DG: Do you have a top 5 list of influencers who have impacted upon you and your content?
DCD: That’s a tough one. I take different things from different influencers, if you like.
(I have three, I can’t really think of five individuals, my life is a very close circle!)
I’d say DizzyBrunette3 is the blogger that lead me into learning about customisation of my ‘brand’ and website and the like – as hers is just so perfect.
iJustine, a big YouTuber who I’ve followed for a number of years – I started my blog after she posted a video being all ‘be who you want be and do what you want to do’ which at the time, I really needed to hear in my life.
My mum is my main influencer. And I know she doesn’t really count, but she was the first person who picked me up during one of my really bad dark days, and ever since then we’ve just had a really comfortable level of openness when discussing things. Plus her words of life hacks & wisdom deserve a blog of their own!
Other than that, I take bits of influence and guidance from pretty much every blog I read, or the people I encounter. That’s probably really spiritual sounding isn’t it?! I’m just a firm believer that the people we meet are there for a reason, and that’s often to influence our lives.
DG: That’s a nice variety! It’s great that you can take influence from your mother and channel it into something so creative! I agree with you, we do all influence each other as we go!
DCD: Cheers to influencing lives!
DG: What’s your Hogwarts house?
DCD: I actually did the Pottermore test, and always believed that I was a Hufflepuff, I went a bit overboard on the merch when I was in Florida last year … Oops!
DG: You’ve got to when you’re there!!
Do you have a favourite musician/band/artist currently?
DCD: My favourite artist at the moment is Christine & The Queens. Her music is just so different, and she’s slowly taking the world by storm, isn’t she!
I’m also a bit obsessed with Seinabo Sey – she did a song ‘Younger’, which was remixed by Kygo, but the stripped acoustic version is just special!
DG: I’m in LOVE with Christine and the Queens! She’s incredible!
The last question is: do you have an all time favourite film?
DCD: I have two! The Impossible & Inside Out – both complete opposites I know!
BIG thanks to Dan for taking part, this was so much fun to do! I think I need to interview my friends more often!
Catch up on the previous INTERVIEWED posts here: