On the eve of the release of Oracles under City Lights, I’m exclusively sharing the book’s preface online
A few months before moving to London, I started a blog. I hadn’t created one sooner because I’d always thought blogging to be self-indulgent, sloppy writing. I thought it was a fad that would soon blow over.
Nevertheless, it made sense for my writing to have an online presence. Despite a life-long obsession with physical books and printed journalism, it was clear that times were changing and in no way did I want to be left behind before my career had even begun.
Before starting my blog I had a conversation with a fellow writer. She explained how many of the blogs she had come across lacked a personal touch; they all blended into one another.
I knew what she meant. So many blogs out there had that ‘copycat syndrome’, simply reproducing the same content and, more often than not, relying on visuals over writing. I set out to make my own blog relatable, personal and as in-depth as possible.
So when I moved to London my blog became a salvation in many ways. Almost like a diary, I would record situations both on a social and emotional level and draw conclusions from my experiences. However, instead of tucking this diary away into a drawer, I decided to share it with the world. Or at least to the humble Twitter following I had accumulated at the time.
From my initial months in the city trying to find my feet, to momentous political and environmental events that were taking place; I realised I had a fair amount of content that ran like a captivating story. These pieces felt like significant stages in London’s recent history that I didn’t want to lose in a soon-to-be-forgotten blog reel.
Thus, I made a decision that I would revisit my recent work and pull it all together to produce a memoir on my London life – warts and all. Reading through some of my early pieces was painful at times, as it was evident how much I had developed technically in terms of my writing. It was also clear how much I had progressed on a psychological and spiritual level, encouraging me to create a guidebook on surviving modern city life while remaining sane.
I had moved to London in the summer of 2010 with the ambition of ‘making it’ as a writer and getting myself noticed. By the time of writing this, I have become a completely different person who has experienced what I consider to be an inner-city rebirth. Whether it was through the characters I came across working in fashion writing or the lies that we were being told by the government, I learnt many lessons during my first few years living in England’s big smoke.
Oracles under City Lights is my chance to share these lessons with you. When putting this memoir together I cast my mind back to the moment I moved to the city without work, experience or money. This book is what I would have wanted to read at the time I was struggling to get my foot in the door (and also what I would have wanted to read once my foot was in and it felt nothing like I thought it should).
I have written this book for me three years ago; a person that I think represents so many others then and now. Hungry, ambitious and yearning… yet completely disillusioned. I want to help others reach the spiritual awakening I experienced despite the noise and havoc that constantly surrounded me. I want this book to encourage others to defy what the system has made us believe to be important and remember what it is to feel true happiness.
I realised that no matter what we disguise it as – whether it be money, success, fame or power – all we truly want is to find the light. The purpose of this book is to show you how you can find yours.
Oracles under City Lights is split into five main parts. The first, City Lights, focuses on my initial experiences when I first moved to London. The second,Creative vs. Commercial, explores the ups and downs of professional life as I fought my way into editorial work.
The third and fourth sections, An Alternate Vision Part One and Two, run like a timeline of experiences drawn from my blog. Here I cover everything from the London riots in 2011 to the global Occupy movement, all the while drawing understandings from each experience.
The final section of the book, An Inner Light, concludes my story with ten important lessons I learnt during my London era. By reading my journey up to this point, you will have unlocked the secrets to experience an awakening of your own; one you probably didn’t even realise was possible.
Read the full preface on my Facebook page.
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