In a recent article for the New Statesman Will Self describes an island "off the coast of Scotland ... reachable in a small boat (given reasonable seas) in an hour or so from the nearest populated landfall." Shaped like a drop of water, it is home to his own croft and the remains of a Pictish broch. On its hills are sheep and goats, and in the sky are seabirds. Where is this place? Harris, Lewis, Orkney, Shetland? In fact it is nowhere. This is Self's island loci - an imaginary place where he goes when his mind needs a rest.
We think this is just the kind of thinking that should be encouraged. So we're asking our readers to help us create a virtual world made up entirely of imaginary islands.
All you have to do is dream. Perhaps your island is already well formed in your mind. Perhaps it is only just coming into view. Whatever the case, we've come up with some questions to help get you started.
- What does your island look, feel and sound like?
- Where is it? What's it called?
- Which animals do you share your island with?
- How do you spend your time there?
- Who is there with you?
Once your island is fully formed, tell us everything about it by emailing us with 'My Island' in the subject line or posting in the comments thread below. Then share your post on social media with the #myisland tag.
Like imaginary beachcombers we'll gather up all your responses to include in a special feature later this year.
Image: Albert Traschel, The Island of Blossoming Trees (Dream Landscape) c.1912-13