Open doors, open minds

What happens when you open your door? In today’s technology and screen-obsessed age, we don’t often find ourselves in situations where we have to. We’re scared – worried of what could happen if we did, of the dangers and consequences of opening our homes. It’s not just our doors we don’t like to open; it’s funny, for a generation that’s very happy to share everything online, on social media and blogs to total strangers, we’re seriously closed about truly letting others into our lives. The tube is a perfect example; I’m sure I’m not the only one quietly clutches their handbag a bit closer when someone randomly engages in conversation on the Northern Line.

But how sad is that, truly. My 2014 Rude Health Pledge was to ‘be more social’ and I didn’t mean going clubbing more – I meant using the internet in a social, rather than anti-social way – I wanted to open myself up to new people, experiences and opportunities, because of the internet, rather than despite it. Which is why this Saturday, I invited a group of aspiring journalists I found on Twitter and Facebook into my flat – a group of girls who wanted to break into journalism, but didn’t quite know how. And like I’ve always said – if you don’t have the platform to get your writing published, create the platform, create your own opportunities. 

And I’m so glad that we have these tools at our disposal. Because my Saturday Editorial Team didn’t just impress, they rocked it. The ideas and features they came up with today show what can happen when you put a whole load of writers, bloggers and journalists, some coffee cake and lots of haribo together in a space where boundaries don’t exist (there’s no office here, no sub editors) and criticism is only constructive. For once, there’s no feature too silly and you don’t have to get it right the first time, either. Pitching stories through email is a very small window for opportunity. What would happen if you could pitch your features straight to an editor, rather than via an email? What if you could re-pitch them a second later if they weren’t right? It would be glorious. And it was.

You can read all the features today’s editorial team successfully pitched for About Time. Magazine, which will be launching on the 1st Feb, online soon. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter to hear about ATM’s journey and get in touch if you’d like to be part of next week’s Saturday Editorial Team. I can’t guarantee much more than a cozy flat, sweeties, some terribly burnt toast and lots of tea – but you might just come away feeling a bit more hopeful about the internet as a source of potential, rather than isolation, in the world. Because I certainly do.

Follow me and this week’s #SaturdayEditorialTeam on Twitter @abbieleebee @ChezSpecter @GeorgieGrant @lexicotoulas. And big thanks to treat providers @frozenfruitco who kept us refreshed throughout the day! Get in touch if you’d like to get involved with next week’s meet by treating us with some delicious goodies. Oh and vote for me in the Blog Awards! 

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