• Diana McLaren

Why my book is about Life!

For those of you who haven’t heard, I wrote a book called Life a Sarcastic Guide that is available for Free, here on my website. And while no one has said it to my face I’m pretty sure everyone is thinking the same thing.

‘How much hubris does this bitch have to think she can write a book about life at the age of 27.’

And to that I say, actually I started writing it when I was 23 and the content was mostly finished by 25.

But I get it. Even I have looked at the title of my book and thought… well she’s up herself isn’t she. And the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

The ‘no’ is simple. I haven’t written a book that’s like… "this is how you should live". It’s just a collection of thoughts and ideas I’ve had. It’s not an instruction manual or even particularly serious. It’s mainly a bunch of jokes that work better on paper than they do in Stand Up Comedy.

Secondly the ‘yes’. I believe that as a person that is alive that qualifies me enough to write down my ideas on what I see happening around me. After all other than living what really qualifies you to write about life?

So much of this world revolves around being qualified to do the thing. You have to have proof that you are an authority. Otherwise why should we listen to you? People have to prove they have the right to their opinion. And this is causing a strange problem in my eyes.

When someone who we believe to have authority writes or speaks on their topic we just assume they are right. After all they are an authority. And that is where we stop. Yes they have the right to speak and so now whatever dribbles out of their mouth is truth.

And it even extends into areas in which they are not qualified to speak, just because they’re an authority on a related field. That is why we think vitamins cure colds (insert video here).

But what if instead of using this system in which someone is given authority and then what they say is truth we examined each idea on it’s own merit.

I am often called intelligent; because I’m an annoying know-it-all that brings up random facts constantly. And to this I always respond the same way;

‘I am not intelligent, intelligence does not belong to a person it belongs to an idea.’

Plenty of intelligent people have done really stupid things. And plenty of not book smart people can still come up with brilliant ideas. Intelligence is not an inherent quality. And authority tricks us into thinking it is.

The problem with believing that once someone is qualified, everything they say is true on that topic is that we are all liable to make mistakes. Myself included, I fully expect to have to write retractions and know that I may even just change my mind, because we all grow and develop as people and the collective.

And so rather than worrying about who has the authority to write on topic is it not much better to simple examine the idea on it’s own merit?

Perhaps a more correct title for my book would have been ‘One girls observations about society from between 2014 and 2018 presented in a humorous way with cartoon explanations.’ But that would have been too long.

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