There’s an elephant in the room…


So, the first thing on this morning’s agenda has to be Brexit. Yes, that gigantic elephant sitting in the corner of the room, that one right there.

Oh no, I hear you cry. LJ is about to get political!

Well, don’t edge for the door just yet. This blog isn’t the place for me to mouth off about my political views (although the observant amongst you will probably be able to make an educated guess about my voting tendencies and I have indeed ranted at length in the comfort of my own home). This blog was created to discuss reading and writing, predominantly, alongside a bit of positive motivation. But I don’t think there is any point in pretending that everything is all tickety-boo; I think it is important to at least acknowledge that – regardless of how people voted in the recent advisory referendum – the UK is a very divided country at the moment and its mood is turbulent. There are so many questions yet to be answered and there is a sense of uncertainty about where we as a country go from here and how we galvanise ourselves. With that in mind, I ask myself: how does reading and writing impact the present situation?

Writing is my pleasure and solace. I find that when the world gets a bit ‘much’, I can fall into the story I am creating and hours can slip by unnoticed. Likewise, reading is pure escapism and reader choice has never been greater. It is incredible to think that the advent of the Internet and the e-reader now allows us access to more literature than was held in the great library of Alexandria, or indeed any library.

In a broader sense, it has been fascinating to see the shift from old-fashioned print reporting to a more immediate version of real-time reporting through social media outlets. Everybody is a ‘reporter’, now, and we are able to view the news as it happens with less filters than ever before. It is a wonderful resource which allows people to be their own judge rather than relying upon the opinions and bias of a chosen few. However, with greater power comes greater responsibility (said Spiderman’s grandpa, or uncle…or somebody). We need to remain our own watchdogs and not allow ourselves to be blinded by all the traffic which passes by on a daily basis. There’s so much colour and sound, so many people worrying about how they will be perceived in a picture, or in a sound bite, that we might just start forgetting about the stuff that actually matters.

Case in point: before I started out in this new career, I hadn’t ever given an interview, or had my photograph taken for my own media purposes. I had always eschewed a visible online presence, even as a lawyer, because I valued my privacy too much. But I recognise that there is value in sharing some of yourself. Particularly if you write stories for a living, because it allows people to develop a greater insight into your character and by proxy the characters you have created. Plus, I like to hear from people – good or bad – so that I can hone my craft and get to know my readers. Thanks to all of you who take the time to get in touch! But on a serious note, now that my name comes up on Google and there are pictures and articles out there, it is more important than before that I keep perspective. It doesn’t really matter if I fumble my words or take a bad photograph, although it doesn’t help my self-confidence if I already feel exhausted or just a bit meh. However, there are people out there with vastly more important jobs than mine, whose work and decision-making impacts each and every one of us. It’s important that they keep perspective too: worry less about how you appear and worry more about how you actually behave because usually if you behave well, the rest will follow, no?

On a lighter note, those who are clamouring for the next instalment of DCI Ryan will be pleased to know that a cover reveal is IMMINENT! Tune in at the end of this week for further news!

LJ x