Few books enter your soul and manage to shake and stir it! Those books remain with you, no matter what!!!
“No Accountability” by Keith Lawton has been one such book for me this year. I am dazzled by it & will remain so for a long time to come!!
I was excited to get a chance to be able to interview Keith & here is the interview. The review to the book is here Please do read this lovely memoir. It is beyond super!
1: What is more accountable for ‘No Accountability’, Your Karma or your destiny?
No Accountability has been a difficult journey for me, it has a journey from concept to completion, catharsis and grounding. I’m not a natural author, but this was something I found I really had to do, firstly to find out where I came from in order to go forward, and secondly to build on those findings in order to keep right on going. It is such a difficult thing to explain when you’ve had no known recollection of you previous life, but I do sometimes also feel privileged to have lived through and experienced the care system and its’ pitfalls, because if nothing else it has made me myself.
I don’t really believe that you have a choice in either, but it is a nice thought that you have some influence in their outcomes, but I do believe that in life you have to share your experiences, for good or bad, in order to purge yourself, and to prevent those experiences from eating you up from the inside out, and to give back something to your creators.
No Accountability has of course helped me find my Karma as a starting point, and I believe what is coming will come, albeit with perhaps belief in your own self, and that an end cannot come without a start.
2: If you get one chance to go back in your past and change only one incident, what would that be?
I think throughout life we all come across life changing chances or incidents, which we either take or regret not taking, it’s a difficult question to answer. My main regret is not writing my book sooner, and not applying for my care file, that would have enabled me to do some digging that may have led to me meeting some of my maternal family that have now passed away. Then I think that it would have been a real struggle and I make excuses in justifying that I wouldn’t have had the right resources or skills to do so.
In answering I would say that I wouldn’t change any incidents, because, for good and bad, I think they’re all character building, but I would have like to have been able to change my mind-set, from can’t to can do – raise my head to the stars and make myself accountable to reality.
3: There are many people who want to write about their sufferings, which they have faced in their lives, have you got any motivating help for them?
I am just me, and my book ‘No Accountability’ there runs a theme, and that is to get people who have experienced deviations from a normal life, to tell their stories – to speak out, immortalised experiences and loved ones to within the confines of those writings.
Speaking out and getting our actions actioned upon, in order to make others ‘Accountable’ for their acts and omissions is the way to change our societies for the better, it’s a human trait to be subservient to people who control our lives, and we are all naked in the bathroom – nothing gives them that right.
No one can take away our thoughts, they can be manipulated, but only ourselves have control over their influence of what to or not to take on board. To get clarity is to sit motionless like a cat outside a mouse hole, slowing right down, concentrating and waiting for that mouse to show himself.
4: Has this book changed anything, and do you expect more from yourself now?
Everyone is totally unique and individual, and we all have very different motivational, and productivity levels, but I would think, as it was with me, that most people who sit down and write a book, do it wholeheartedly – it’s a passion, it takes over your life, it controls you, and you think of nothing else – when you’ve finished, you still think of nothing else – you cringe at your mistakes, you wish that you had either added or taken away things – you ponder over Indie or traditional – it’s your breathe.
I think it has given me more confidence, I never thought that I was capable of writing a book, it’s said of course that everyone has a book within them. When I first started writing it was like a rush, I couldn’t get stuff down fast enough, then you look at your 10,000 words and think to yourself, where am I going to find the other 50 or 60,000 words from?
I do expect more for myself now – I feel that there is a responsibility for after sales advice, and I feel that there is a responsibility on me to write further. Why? I’m not sure, perhaps that is part of the answer to Q: 1
5: How do you feel when you get letters, or comments full of sympathy?
I find sympathy insulting, a reactive lame response and demeaning, I’ve experienced it throughout my life, whenever I mentioned that I had been bought up in care – as a result I found myself never mentioning it. Sympathy for an animal kept in a zoo is fine, but sympathisers can’t really associate themselves with your past condition, so therefore I see it as being a bit condescending to say the least – Do people prefer to have seeds to grow or to have sympathy nurture?
Is it that people feel the need to tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than engaging in open dialogue on a subject that they know nothing about? Mostly I found this from professional people, for instance a Doctor would ask about your family’s medical history – they of course have to do this, and you are obliged to answer with ‘I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to that as I was bought up in care’ –
There are those that seek sympathy, who I find it more difficult to accept – this is a real world that we live in, stuff happens, the world doesn’t stop spinning because of any one individual, life goes on, and there is always someone that’s worse off than yourself.
6: Did you get any trouble showing mirror to those care councils and society in general?
I will no doubt get some comeback for mentioning certain things, but the fact of the matter is that ‘No Accountability’ is a true story – it took me a long time to research and I have evidence contained within my care file. There are of course some grey areas as I had to fill in the blanks through the fog of lost memories, but all in all I feel I’ve nothing to hide.
There was of course no need to write my book, but I felt that a real window of reality should presentable to those who feel they want to look in. People know deep down that these incidents occurred, they know that ‘No Accountability’ would be difficult for myself or indeed anyone to write, they also know that these occurrences crop up in daily national news stories.
I have no intension of seeking any sort of justice, because I haven’t got the time, will or inclination to do so, and I personally don’t think it would do anyone any good whatsoever – that said, I will not back down from a fight.
7: Describe Keith life in just one sentence?
I have always been a very passive person, I don’t tend to run with the crown – I’ve never been influenced by peer group pressure or the media, I’m like all people – an individual.
I keep things buried, and as my file reads ‘Keith doesn’t show his emotions easily’ but I think it do – others think I don’t. I love my little dog Jess, and I think that there is so much animals can teach humans in general.
8: Your writing shows that you are a big movie buff, tell me about your favourite movie, and your favourite character from that movie?
For me it’s got to be the 1946 Black and White make of the Charles Dickens’s book ‘Great Expectations’ with John Mills as ‘Pip’ being my favourite character, with Bernard Miles ‘Joe’ acting as Pips guardian being a close second.
9: Describe Keith as a writer?
I don’t see myself as a writer just yet, that said I’ve got another couple of books sitting on the back burner, that if one is published, then perhaps I might concede to seeing myself as a writer. My aim is to write another two books and one book of poetry, but finding the time is a rare as hen’s teeth. If you had the resources in order to have a quiet retreat where you could just sit and write, then that would be a bonus.
I hope to think I will ruffle a few feathers and create health debate amongst other that may in time hopefully change things for the better – it’s giving something back that counts.
10: What keeps you motivated? Except for Jess of course.
My motivation comes from within, I try to clear my mind as much as I’m able, and find the writing to be therapeutic, it also clears your mind – it’s almost like it goes out of your head and onto paper, thus leaving a space for more stuff in your head. Now that is a statement for the completely mad.
I lied!! Jess is my motivation 😉
WOW !! So this was the very erudite Keith Lawton on his book “No Accountability”. It is definitely the read of the year.
Buy his Book from here
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Keith Lawton for this interview. It was amazing knowing you sir! Thanks a lot for sharing your learnings and for your precious time!
& With this beautiful interview, This is Sonali Agarwal signing out!!
I shall catch you up soon with my next post
Stay Curious and Keep Learning !!