Inside Out

There are 2 types of writers.  Those who want to see their name in lights and be successful if they can’t be great and then there’s people like me who hate the solitude of writing, embark on other things until they can no longer avoid doing what they love.

Good writing is always about situations you’re familiar with.  It’s either intensively researched or about people you dislike expose.  I know a lot of people in Edinburgh but don’t have many friends. Foreigners get a pleasant enough reception here but any overtures of friendship lack warmth and a certain “what are you doing here?”  Edinburghers don’t leave home, rarely entertain and would rather talk about their dogs (everyone), their children (women) or their cars (men) than anything of consequence.

I can’t maintain anaemic friendships I can’t discuss the minutiae of life. We live in troubled times and I like knowing what’s really going on.  You reveal yourself by what you don’t say as much as by what you say.

I’ve always been an outsider, but this week 3 people who know a little about my experience of living here told me I should write a book.

None of them are writers so I take their suggestion seriously.  They relate to my experience and for some reason think my story should be told.

I started Style School as an experiment.  To discover who in Edinburgh is up for discovering how they could radically transform their interior environment and banish winter blues with subtle colour, layering, a little texture and living more successfully with that they have. It takes courage to do something different with something as personal as your home.  But once you start, you’ll soon realise how happy it makes you and wonder why you wasted so many years and opportunities trying to fit in.

I’m a great believer in “It’s never too late” – to switch careers, change direction, write a book or try something new with your interiors.  But whatever you decide to change, it rarely works unless it’s heartfelt and you begin the transformation inside, out.

ImagePhotography Jane Barlow