This week has been a gloomy one. I’ve felt overwhelmed by the endless slew of injustice that is bestowed from those who are employed to care about us all, and especially the most vulnerable. I am privileged to be able to write this on my own laptop, at my own desk, with warm(ish) feet and a full stomach. But I feel powerless. Sapped of energy. It feels like a time when poetry and creativity is needed more than ever, to remind that there is beauty and good in this country. It also feels like a time when poetry and creativity is utterly banal and irrelevant. My mooching around my emotions, noticing the play of light on a rose, or the slow movement of spiders huddling away from the cold, is at odds with the sheer dreadfulness of day to day life that others are experiencing. It feels insulting to feel disappointment or frustration at my own concerns.
A development opportunity I’d set my sights on for next year is out of my reach financially, so I’m back to the drawing board about my next steps. I’m pleased with how I’ve responded though – I didn’t take it as a sign that I’m not good enough, or feel that I may as well give up. I’ve worked hard to reach the point where I am and I’m not stopping now. Development is not just about becoming a better writer, it’s about valuing myself, my work and believing in it. Being from good working class stock, a career in the arts still has an air of being fancy, of being somehow indulgent. This is borne from a deep desire for security – an avoidance of the challenges faced by those who’ve gone before. I can’t quite shake it. I still hear myself frame my writing as a hobby, and follow up any conversation about poetry with a assurance that do some “real” work as well. Sometimes this “real” work values each of my words at a penny, but somehow even this meagre pay is more credible.
I have a couple of things up my sleeve, I’ve applied for a bursary from Raven Studios a local group of creatives, sent my pamphlet submission and have a new prompt a day course starting in November, which should help reinvigorate a regular writing practice. I’ve also set up Poems from the Hare my brand new shop, where you can commission a bespoke poem (just in time for Christmas!) and buy a copy of my brand new zine, which will be landing in the next couple of weeks.
What about the treacle?
It’s how the week has felt. The grey days with whispers of gold from the trees, the weight of the sky. The mizzle or drizzle or full on rain. My endless doom scrolling in the small hours. My absolute inability to read, which inevitably affects my writing and the nag,nag,nag of pain that increases with each damp day. Wading through treacle. It won’t last, there is a way out and I am never not grateful for the fact that I am lucky enough to have these things as my worries.
Thanks, as ever for reading, hopefully next post will be all about me sending my zine into the world, and if anyone can recommend a book that is uplifting and rollickng good story I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask