Immigrating to Africa in the mid-1950s was an ‘out there’ adventure. Adding the concept of starting-up a fashion boutique for ex-patriots was even further on the extreme radar factor. But, my dad was never one to shy away from a challenge. My mum was willing to follow his lead and proved—with Italian blood in her genes—that she could set her own fashion trends. This black and white photo of her at the races, with two other friends, is a stylish example of this. And, what better way to exhibit the Piergiovanni fashions than wearing a design oneself?
Creative writing can have similar fashion trends and requires matching commitment and confidence. Through storytelling, we are laying down in words, what we consider to be interesting or worth sharing. Since this comes from our creative side, this naturally includes some soul-baring and hence the requirement for courage. Then, if someone is critical of our outpourings, we can take that feedback far too seriously; we consider it a critique of our writing ability whereas, it might just be about the topic itself or, prompted by several other reasons.
It’s vital, therefore, whenever we decide to place something (written) out into the ether that we consider whether what we are sharing is appropriate and will not harm anyone. It may be that we are responding in anger to something that we consider unforgivable such as, a recent incident of animal cruelty or some other justifiable event. Even then, how we frame the information needs to be tempered for maximum effect without shooting ourselves in the foot. A barrage of outrage can come across as opinionated and reactive. Instead, let us consider how to be effective and informative so championing others to be up in arms about what has happened.
Once words are set on a page—whether in an article or a published book or, even brief comments on a social media platform—they cannot be taken back or discarded like out-of-style fashion trends. Of course, we can delete a FaceBook post but, it will have already been seen by many and likely, not forgotten, especially if controversial. Conversely, fashion trends infer a short-term period such as something that is around for just one season. I, for one, smile wryly when I look back on photos of me in garments with shoulder-pads and above that, a trendy mullet with red highlights. I am certain there are many memories like this, out there, that are comparable!
Take care, everyone, over the Easter period, and stay safe. Buona Pasqua-Happy Easter!