How to be ‘time-rich’

In this first blog post, I will answer two questions I have been asked most frequently since setting up this project: what is the ethos of An Inkling; and why have I founded it?

 Like "fake-news" and "hygge", "time-poor" is a term I came across just recently - though, as it turns out, it is quite commonly used. It is the general excuse we default to for not responding to something; not getting things done; not having time over the next seven weekends to meet someone for a coffee.

Rapid technological developments mean that we can achieve things not only at high speed, but anywhere and at any-time. We can “dash something off”; send a “holder”; “skim through” an article as we travel to the twelfth engagement of our day. As a result, we don’t always engage deeply with what we are doing; we don’t take the time to notice the world around us; and we don’t give our brains moments of ‘absence’ in which they do not have to think about anything at all. This absence time is I think, crucial for us to properly understand and reflect on things.

I believe that the quality of journalism has been affected by this too. Many articles in newspapers today are ‘reactionary’; written as an immediate response to an event in simple language that allows us to fully grasp the basic details of a situation in the three minutes we have between tube stops. Whilst I am aware that there are plenty of exceptions to this sweeping generalisation in all sorts of different media, this is the ethos behind An Inkling. I am trying to produce a journal that goes against this grain; I would like authors to spend time refining their articles to produce pieces that are exceptionally written and that change the way we readers see the world. Even if you do not necessarily agree with the points made – if you spend sufficient time thinking about the article you have read to even conclude this, then An Inkling has achieved its aim.

Time should not be a “luxury”, nor should it be something that we don’t “have”. Instead, I think that it is something that we don’t always “make”. I would encourage the authorship and readership of An Inkling to always make time for reading, writing and thinking – and, if you are still reading this, I thank you for taking the time to get this far. 

Two other things I should mention: An Inkling will be available to read in print only. Like penguin paperbacks which become dog-eared; pencil-graffitied and yellowed but that we never quite throw away, I would like people to treasure each edition and scribble in the margins to their heart’s content, and this will be reflected in how it is published. 

Secondly, it will always be open to new submissions – either for this edition, or for the next. If, whilst reading this, you are thinking that you do have something you would like to write about but haven’t “had time” then here is your opportunity. Please make the time – and if writing isn’t for you, do share this on with anyone else who you think might be interested in doing so. So many of us have dreams about the novels we will never write; the writers’ retreats we will never go on; the books that we will never publish. Here is your chance to start small, think big, and engage with the world around you.

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