Georgia Conlon is here to tell us about her blog which features readers and writers discussing books they’ve read during isolation. So without further ado, it’s over to Georgia.
New Perspectives: Isolated Readers and Unified Writers
Escapism makes sense, but that’s not what reading is to me. Instead, I reckon reading gives you a way to look at life from new perspectives. Literature is a way to reassess what it means to live, in terms of your own identity and your connections with others. This is one of the reasons I started my blog: the isolation book club.
When lock down began, I knew it would be hard. I had to sort out a new routine and get myself into some creative projects, or I believed I’d fall under the grey fog of feeling purposeless. Although I’ve been online teaching (I’m an English Teacher, and have just finished my NQT year!), I still knew that my inability to go out-and-about could be detrimental to my mental health. This is where the blog came in.
By spending time reading one or two books a week, I not only improved my subject knowledge, but also used literature to look at my life and the world around me in new ways. The Easter Parade by Richard Yates reminded me of how grateful I am for my family (even more so because I couldn’t see them at the time I was writing). The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson had me thinking about writing letters, and the importance of the epistolary form in creating an honest dialogue. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers highlighted the need to listen to others, particularly at this present time, when people have been experiencing feelings of loneliness to a greater extent than usual. Derek Owusu’s recent award-winning debut novel, That Reminds Me, had me thinking about teachers I admire, and those I have been influenced by, and the significance of spreading kindness.
And I’m not the only one writing for the isolation book club. Every Sunday I am lucky enough to publish posts by writers from a variety of professions. Their ideas have been incredible, and their posts include thoughts on religion and spirituality, philosophy, parenthood and childhood, poetry, and even guides on how to self-publish. Most recently, a close friend of mine – and fellow blogger – wrote a response to #BlackLivesMatter by listing some brilliant black women who are making amazing art, with links to their work.
I couldn’t have survived lock down without the support of the writers and creators around me (and that includes the writer of this blog, Patricia M Osborne: you can read her post here). I’m very proud to be part of such a wonderful community, who, whether they know it or not, shape the world around me, through their personal writing.
At the moment I’m looking for new writers for my Sunday Guest Post spots, so if, while reading this, you’ve come up with something you’d like to write about, give me a shout. It would be great to hear from you.
Perhaps the isolation book club is actually a place that has brought people together during lock down. Pretty ironic, right? I might have to change the name.
Thank you for that fabulous article, Georgia. If you think you have something to say for Georgia’s isolation book club do contact here.
Let’s find out a little more about Georgia.
About Georgia Conlon
Georgia Conlon is a writer and English Teacher from London, currently using the summer holidays to read some books and tell some stories. You can find her on the following links