Welcome to Riah Writes
Updated: Jun 30
Delving into the arena of discussion.
I know I know. Is there really a need for yet another blog given how crowded the internet is?
Honestly, writing has always been cathartic for me to make sense of the world. I have stacks of journals going back to my childhood that are pretty entertaining (/embarrassing) to look back on to say the least.
This habit evolved over time and lead me to experiment with the idea of blogging. I became part of ‘Generation Tumblr’ crafting words, pictures and playlists to capture my youth online. Small but dedicated communities of followers grew across the pages I made, and there was something liberating about creating words instead of #selfies during the the advent of Instagram. I’ve always loved how words have the power to create connection. (Yes I am a self-professed ‘words of affirmation’ love language gal á la Gary Chapman, 5 love languages!).
So why return to writing now?
Recently I realise that the itch to create is still there. I also love that technology has democratised expression of thought. Democracy is not just about voting for our leaders. Democracy is normal people having access to information and freedom of communication to make decisions about their own lives. There’s something radically political in how it has deconstructed old narratives of privilege and access to power. You don’t need to be born with a silver spoon to get a seat at the table. Grassroot social movements and the views of the most marginalised are amplified that bit more thanks to technology.
I think there is something beautiful about how how tech can humble us into remembering the world is much bigger than ourselves, one narrative, one experience, one bubble. We are interconnected and our actions affect one other.
However, recently I’ve been feeling the space under an IG post, story, or Facebook status isn’t cutting it with everything that’s going on. I’ve been holding myself back from writing lengthy posts on socials whilst witnessing: the spread of a global pandemic, increased inequality, human rights violations, glaring racism…and yet, the beauty of the human spirit glowing though it all. Returning to writing will be like coming home to my first love.
Riah Writes will be a space of both activism and peaceful reflection.
Forgive me in advance if my words aren’t eloquent enough or my grammar is not pristine. I write in meandering sentences that fit more with creative writing than anything else. Please don’t expect Maya Angelou though. I’m more like Maya’s cousins cousin cousin that somehow sneaked into that family cookout. Still. Here I am nonetheless crashing the party, embracing that imposter syndrome and offering a plate of wit along the way.
My name is Riah to some friends and on socials. I’m a London living, popcorn eating, essential oil diffusing, Neo-Soul listening twenty-something year old. By day I’m a mental health professional, and by night, a lover of arts, soul and community.
Arts. Soul. Community.
I have a deep love of art and using my eyes to soak up beauty. I am on a journey to get back to creating more visual art and overcoming those perfectionist demons that hold so many creatives paralysed at the wrist. I gain so much from art and have a deep sense of peace in creative spaces. I hope to create that here too.
Doing ‘soul work’ is another thing I want to address on this blog. I am inspired by writers, thinkers and speakers that do a wonderful job at examining the human heart and personal development. If you like podcasts like Russell Brand ‘Under the Skin’, Krista Tippett ‘On Being’, Oprah ‘Super Soul Sunday’ or Jay Shetty ‘On Purpose’, this will be the vibe. Over the years I’ve been fascinated by spirituality, religion and inter-faith work on coexistence. I’ve learnt there are real gems to be found in conversations between Atheists and devout people of faith that should be treasured. It’s a topic of great importance to me, and one I feel will help our collective growth.
How people come together to form friendships or the rise of social movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo all come under the umbrella of Community for me. ‘Community’ is the sum of people that form our identities, so naturally, something I want to have a chat about.
Will this be sustained beyond lockdown? I don’t know. But what I do know is a limit on characters for Tweets, Facebook statuses or IG captions isn’t enough for me at the moment. (Plus may be annoying for followers that just want to see pictures of lockdown baking or the daily government-approved walk!)
So welcome to Riah Writes. Be provoked. Be refreshed and renewed. Be at home.