Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival


Being part of the 2016 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival was an extraordinary experience and left me buzzing for days after. It felt so natural being on stage being interviewed by the talented Margo Edwards where she asked me to share stories about Dying to Know and also my writing process and where I find inspiration. She referenced my blog post ‘Taming the muse’ which we unpacked a bit with the audience so hopefully they could walk away a little inspired.
Being a little reclusive it was also great to come out and meet so many amazing and talented authors, including Sulari Gentill, SaraFoster, Loretta Hill, Louise Park, Andrew Daddo and Natasha Lester.

My life is so different than it was last year and I’m grateful for every moment.  
 
 
I dropped into Margaret River Books to say Hi and the owner, Pauline, insisted on a photo!



Carol Seeley the lady behind the popular Reading Writing and Riesling Blog mentioned on her Facebook page:
"Ghosts in the House" Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival one of the best author discussions I have been to in the last 3 years. Thanks Josh Langley Author and Margot Edwards chair person for a session that entertained and informed.



Being You is Enough sold out of the first day of the festival, moving 25 copies! These two young ladies were lucky enough to get a signed copy.



Even fellow author Sara Foster was in the audience and posted my talk on Instagram.   

 

Being You is Enough Margaret River Young Readers School Tour








 
14 schools
1,100 students
And hundreds of kilometres travelled.
The #beingyouisenoough school tour as part of the Margaret River Young Readers Festival was an incredible experience and it was a privilege to be able to inspire so many young people. I was joined on tour by amazing children’s author Louise Park (author of Harriet Clare and Boy Vs Beast series), Adventurer and reptile man Dr Brian Grieg and the very friendly Andrew Daddo.
Being You is Enough was well received by all teachers, saying that it matched exactly what they were teaching in the classroom. Next time I’ll be better prepared as I ran out of books towards the end!

Photos courtesy of Christa Walsh.

Making peace with yourself



It’s been a while since I’ve been able to have a quiet chat with you. I know we’ve all been busy, trying to get on with our lives and making the most of what we’ve got. That’s all anyone could ever ask.
I need to constantly remind myself that life is not a competition regardless of what anyone says. I often feel the weight of trying to constantly ‘improve myself’, be a better person, increase my facebook stats, get more likes, look at everyone else as a potential threat and constantly push, push and push... (whatever it is I’m pushing).
I’ve come to understand that’s not how it has to be, we don’t have to fight against anything, especially ourselves.
How often have felt at war with yourself? Reprimanding yourself for something you did (or didn’t do) and you replay self destructive messages over and over in your head, messages you’d picked up from your parents, teachers, TV  or any other major influence in your life.
It seems the last thing society wants (and that includes you) is to be at peace with yourself.
Businesses will fail, the economy will collapse, the government will fall and anarchy will reign if even one person starts to find inner peace and love themselves for who they are.
‘You are enough’ is a message that resonates deep in our soul, yet our outward existence relies on us feeling inadequate.  Feeling inadequate keeps the wheels of society turning.
But I think that is an illusion.
Will the world stop turning because you finally made peace with your upbringing? Forgave all the people in your life who you felt did you wrong or simply stopped whinging about the price of canned tomatoes?
Life goes on regardless, we can choose to flow with it or fight against it and cause ourselves and others even more pain. The world can only be a better place when we stop fighting.
And when we find we’re in the flow, we can create things, not from fear, but from our real creative centre.
A place of love.
Remind yourself - You are enough.

The most important thing for a kid to know


 
There was a thing on Facebook years ago where a mother had posted that we mollycoddle kids too much and parents are too soft. She went onto say its OK to give a good smack every now and then and tough love was needed instead of this ‘new age’ parenting style. Of course her post went viral and it seemed that everyone agreed with her and only a sprinkling were brave enough to express a more compassionate view.
I’m not about to judge anyone’s parents skills, style or techniques and I’m certainly not in a position to tell you want you should do, however there’s one thing that all kids need and that’s for you to let them know that you love them.

Whether you’re into the tough love method, the new agey one or somewhere in between, still hug your kids often and tell them that they’re loved and needed and that they’re safe. That is so important to reduce the risk of your kids turning out broken and mangled. There are enough of us out there already and the world doesn’t need any more.
Tell your kids you love them and hug them.
Don’t withhold love just because you think it’s been too soft. Do what you have to do to discipline them but never forget to tell them they are loved.
 
 
 
Being You is Enough and other Important Stuff (Big Sky Publishing) is in all good book shops in Australia and online at Booktopia
 

Celebrating difference



 
I was lucky enough to go to a culturally diverse school and one which also had lots of students with disabilities including a couple of paralympians. It was common to see people of all ethnic backgrounds sharing lunch on the quadrangle; Sri Lankan’s with Vietnamese, Chinese students hanging out with Bosnian kids and us Anglo Saxon kids just wanted to hang out with all of them because they were more interesting than we were.  There were also skinheads, punks, surfie dudes, nerds, regular kids, kids struggling with gender issues, gay kids and roaming packs of girls stopping every five minutes to touch up their makeup and pout in a mirror.
I grew up seeing difference as normal.
Mixing with people of all cultures, genders, persuasions, and interests was what I thought society was like as a whole. So when I ended up changing schools and moving to a regional area where it was just mainly white kids I couldn’t believe how ‘difference’ was frowned upon and how people were picked on and bullied just because they may have their hair shorter than everyone else. (yes I was the one with the hair shorter than everyone else)

I soon realised that most kids grow up in a similar environment and it can be very tough if you’ve either got an obvious difference or feel different on the inside, to be comfortable in your own skin.
Everyone is different and for me it’s about giving people the courage and support to stand tall in their difference and not feel belittled or made to feel out of place because of it. Our differences bring us together and help us understand each other.

When a child is able to feel comfortable in how they look, how they think, and how they feel on the inside, then we give them permission to be their true selves and the rewards for them and society as a whole are enormous.
Life is not about staying stuck in our own world of sameness it’s about expanding outwards, growing, learning, exploring and embracing.

 


Being You is Enough and other Important Stuff (Big Sky Publishing) is in all good book shops in Australia and online at Booktopia

 
 


About Josh Langley
Writer, illustrator, daydreamer
After failing high school twice and spending a ridiculous amount of time being unemployed, Josh went onto create a successful career as an award winning radio creative writer spanning 20 years. He’s published four books, draws the Frog and the Well cartoons and writes for many magazines and blogs.


 

Turning Inside Out - released August 2016



Are you prepared to Turn inside Out?

Preorder now by emailing josh@outsidecreative.com.au