BELLA Caledonia started in 2007 because there was no pro-indy voice and a lot of the cultural commentary was more like cheerleading.

If you listen to BBC Scotland’s output, it’s toe-curling. There’s no self-critical awareness. It’s just, “this is great because it’s happening”. It’s kind of inane.

So we had these twin complaints: That there wasn’t serious radical, political commentary and the cultural stuff was failing as well. I suppose it comes down to the old notion that politics and culture are one and the same and can’t be compartmentalised.

Our stance is that we support all progressive and radical movements and parties in Scotland. I think people pigeonhole as us being SNP, but neither [co-founder] Kevin Williamson nor I are in the SNP.

Bella’s an online magazine dedicated to the idea of self-determination rather than just independence, to exploring more deeply what it means to be independent in your life, independent in your communities, your economy and in your culture, and what that might look like. Not just in Scotland but anywhere.

Sometimes that causes us problems because our more narrowly defined nationalist community sometimes find that agenda difficult. And sometimes it finds that great.

We have to work differently with those constituencies and communities. I think that’s a challenge in growing your readership. And it’s a challenge in the independence movement to think beyond superficial concepts of independence.

We could see traffic to the website growing and growing, and then in September last year it just went absolutely mental because of the global interest. Suddenly, rather than Bella being a hobby, moderating all the comments on our posts became a full-time task.

I think compared to some of the other pro-independence blogs we have a much wider remit. Because we’re cultural and because we’re interested in all sorts of areas of life.

Around the time of the referendum I remember doing an interview with Sky in Holyrood. Walking out afterwards, it was a really foggy day. The haar had come down the Forth and down the High Street. I was slightly miserable because it had been a weird media experience. Then out of the mist about 800 Yes supporters with torches and flags appeared. I just turned round and joined them.

It was just an incredible sense of energy. You just thought this is what it would it be like in a revolutionary time. That level of spontaneity and self-organisation was one of the things that made this movement so incredible. It was genuinely a grassroots movement. I think some of the people you speak to within the mainstream Yes campaign would admit that in the very best way it was totally out of control.

They were co-ordinating some things but there was a spontaneous uprising of local groups and we’d never seen anything like that.

I was in Glasgow on the morning of the result with a lot of friends who were just shattered. I felt ashamed to be living in this country, a country that didn’t want to govern itself. In the immediate aftermath I was making plans to leave.

And then we’ve been on this incredible journey since. I think if there’s momentum for another referendum we’ll have one. Because ultimately that’s what self determination is about. There’s nothing that can stop us.