Saturday, 25 June 2016

A Light in the Darkness by Tamsyn Murray


Here we are.

What I had in mind for today's post was an interesting rumination on Imposter Syndrome - how and why it got its grubby little claws into me, how affects almost all of us. What I didn't expect was how monstrously sickened I'd feel about the events of Thursday 23rd June 2016, so I think that post will have to wait for another time.

At the start of this week, I started to realise just how much of a bubble I live in. My Facebook friends (at least the ones that talk to me) were all voting IN for the EU referendum. All of them - every single lovely, creative, clever person I knew and interacted with each day was open to an inclusive UK in partnership with the EU. Yet the external opinion polls were suggesting a different picture. So either they were lying or Facebook was.

I did an almost unprecedented thing, then: I spoke to a friend who was not a writer or an illustrator or somehow involved in publishing. And she said, "Everyone I know is voting out."

Which kind of suggested I was right about the bubble. And *that* got me thinking about a dystopian story where the population was split into 'Creatives' and 'Non-creatives' - the Creatives being the ostracised underclass and the Non-creatives being the oppressors. In this world, reading and storytelling are crimes, as are painting and music. It seemed pretty apocalyptic to me. But the more I started to think about how hard it would be to live in a world without the arts, the more I realised their importance.

Now - I must stress that this was just me following a story idea (as I am liable to do all the time) and I am not making any kind of comments about people who voted Leave or Remain and their relative creativity - but it occurred to me that the arts have never been more important. They are being denigrated and erased in our schools. They are having their funding cut. They are sneered at by government ministers, who are doing their best to snuff them out entirely. But they are important and those of us who make them need to ensure that we are not discouraged, that we continue with our creative work to shine a light in the darkness. Because two things are certain for the coming months and years:

1) We're going to need a lot of tea,


2) We're going to need art to feed our souls.

Tamsyn's latest book is Tanglewood Animal Park: Baby Zebra Rescue - out 1st July NOW!
Catch her on Twitter: @tamsyntweetie

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