On committees and editors

I’ve had my first meeting in my role as Poet in Residence for the Secret Severn Art Trail. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous – those who’ve worked with me will remember my absolute hatred of meetings, and my tendency to turn into a disruptive child when forced to take part.

It turns out I feel quite different when I’m talking about writing. It’s not confidence as such, I still feel flits of nerves and waves of impostor syndrome. What it is an absolute love of what I’m doing. I know how much language, song lyrics and poetry mean to me, and I know how much it can move people. If anything I write moves anyone even the smallest amount, I am delighted. To be able to combine this with visual art, and to have the chance to explore the impact on visitors to the trail excites me. And I think it’s that that excitement means I don’t hate meetings. I’ve sent my first set of emails to artists to see who wants to be involved, and I’ve had a lovely response. Many people are almost as enthusiastic about it as me (if a little baffled), and even the ones who can’t get involved for one reason or another are interested and supportive.

The other part of my writing week has been less cheerful. I’ve had to make the difficult decision to withdraw my work from a publication. It was a difficult decision for many reasons. This particular poem is one that means a lot to me and the project it was going to be part of has great personal significance. As a writer, I was going to be published alongside people I greatly respect, plus this and was the first the first time I’d been invited to read at an anthology launch. Sound good? I was over the moon.

Since my work was accepted in December, there’s been various confusion about whens and wheres, and slightly odd communication. I finally I reached a point where I felt my work deserved more care than was being given to it. I believe I’ve made the right choice, although a tiny part of me is worried I’ll end up on some kind of editor’s blacklist, and another part of me that simply wants to see my work published. This is the first time I’ve encountered anything but kindness from an editor-usually even having work rejected is done with utmost care. It’s been a valuable lesson.

Cheese pac-man. Just to make you read the next paragraph.

Finally, a word about liking and sharing. I did an experiment last week, and messaged people, asking them to react/comment on my post. It made a huge difference to how many people saw it overall. If you can, could you comment on this and share on Facebook, retweet on twitter and like/comment/do a little dance on anything else you see. I hate social media, but it appears to be essential. Thank you, folks.


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