I set up this blog last year as a change from my old blog where I was only reviewing books and period dramas. I wanted to dedicate a space for my own writing; I felt that blogging about about the work of others was holding me back from my own potential.
I visited my old blog recently and had a good read through all my reviews. When I saw that people were still visiting my blog, it suddenly hit me that, although I was writing about the work of other people, all the thoughts and words were my own and that is what people were interested in reading. I’d forgotten how much work I’d put into it all. So I decided to transfer my favourite reviews onto this blog- they all are listed in the Reviews page and posted with their original dates so I could keep things as authentic as possible.
Reading my old reviews made me a little sad, however: since deciding to concentrate on my own writing, I’ve lost that passion for finding exciting books to read or new period dramas and book adaptations to watch. I miss it terribly. Instead, my reading has been reduced to other people’s blogs and news articles; discovering my love for crochet has meant I’ve been counting stitches whilst watching Bake-offs, Sewing Bees and EastEnders. Really. Okay, there’s been a fair bit of Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and the likes but I’ve not been impelled to blog about them as of yet.
Another thing that made me feel sad about my old blog was all bad reviews I had given over the years, especially to writers. Writing bad reviews involves so much negative energy and I remember feeling particularly horrid each time I wrote one – I wonder that I carried on writing them. I guess I felt obliged to give an opinionated view on everything I read.
Since beginning my own writerly journey, I’ve discovered how difficult it is finding a voice as a Muslim woman writer in a world in a world that is constantly suppressing your voice. Becoming part of a community of writers, through both NaNoWriMo and SISTERS magazine, has taught me so much about the need for diverse literature and the importance of a support network, a driving force to fight everything we are up against.
For this reason, I only transferred the celebratory reviews on here, and I made a promise to myself that from now I would not post any negative reviews, at least for books, and that I would focus only on the positivity. That might not make me a credible reviewer, but that’s not what I want to be any more – I want to be an ambassador for women writers from diverse backgrounds, cultures and religions.
I hope you all enjoy reading all the reviews I have coming up for you – I’ve been making a long list of all the books I want to read and also all the period dramas I’m looking forward to watching (yes, I realise that my love for period dramas seems at odds with my little speech about being an ambassador for women from diverse cultures, but who says I can’t also appreciate classic English literature??). Gosh I am excited!
Oh, and you might also have noticed from the above image that I’ve taken up calligraphy. For me, the beauty of the written arts goes hand in hand with the beauty of words themselves and, although I won’t be blogging about progress of my calligraphy skills itself, I do hope to incorporate my amateur lettering into my blog posts. I hope you enjoy!