Mara’s Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday To Us

Mara Patraiko

One year ago today, The Lighter Journal was launched. University was coming to an end, and for me, I think for the others too, I was searching for something that would keep me connected to the exposure and the experience of writing.

We’ve had a wonderful year with lots of laughing, lots of readers, lots of self-growth, but at its heart, The Lighter Journal is still a small publication.

We all work by briefs. Every few weeks, the writers are presented with a location. Sometimes it’s planned, sometimes it’s stumbled across, sometimes it’s done retrospectively by a place that just won’t let go. The editors probe and preen and polish and Jess and I present it.

What we do for The Lighter Journal sounds simple, and really it is.

But on its first birthday, we’d like to take a minute to reflect upon what it’s done for us.

It’s changed commuting. Why focus on travelling to work when you can travel to Norway and feel inspired, or travel to Berlin and find perspective, or visit Horton Tower and laugh so much that you miss your bus stop?

It’s kept our eyes open. It’s made the every day not the every day anymore. You notice things that other people don’t notice, you’re given that opportunity to make of it anything you want and then communicate it.

It’s kept a pen in our hand. Our team works in cafes, in shops, in bars, in offices which, without that pen, makes us the same as the rest of the world who do those jobs. That hard, translucent plastic reminds us that there’s a passion there; a desire, no matter how hidden it is among day-today life; an itch that only the nib on that pen against paper can scratch.

We are writers. And The Lighter Journal reminds us that for as long as we want, we always will be.


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