I've been thinking about how quickly we make judgements - with books, people, and life in general.
It's been prompted by a crime writing event I did in Falmouth last week, with the lovely Emily Barr. Here's the pair of us, after the gig - a kind of beauty and the beast photo.
I was chatting with a woman afterwards, who kindly said something along the lines of "I thought you were a wally at first, seeing that shirt you were wearing, but now I reckon you're not so bad".
Well, half a compliment is better than none. And looking at the photo, I can't necessarily disagree about the shirt.
But it was an example of a rapid judgement - something I suppose we all make, no matter how much we might tell ourselves we shouldn't.
For an artist of any kind, it's a particular lament. Write a book and it can often take three years, from the idea to publication. And a reader can judge it in the first few minutes, as they work through a page or two.
Likewise with a piece of theatre, or a painting, or a sculpture. All that time put into something, all that preparation, not to mention the heart and the soul, and a conclusion drawn in just a few seconds.
I often think TV is the worst offender. I can spend months on a story, but am only judged on a couple of minutes of airtime.
Ah, life can be unfair, but that's just the way it is I suppose. I wonder if it means I should take a bit more care with first impressions.
Which means that shirt is out for future events... along with many others... not to mention many of my ties...
Ps. a big thanks to all who came along to the event in Falmouth, I had a splendid night. The best of luck with the rest of the Splash festival; it's a great asset to the town and to Cornwall, and here's hoping it continues in future years.