It’s around four years since I began this blog, published my first tentative post. I feel like I’ve come a long way – not in terms of whistles and bells but in terms of belief in and acceptance of myself. This is a decent place to be – there are wobbles of course, some startlingly dramatic, but I’m proud that I’ve stuck at this, despite the knock backs, and ups and downs of exposing my work (and my heart) to the world. This aspect will always be unnerving, but as I said in my very first bio I’m a better person when I write, and for me, writing comes alive when it is read by others. There is no better feeling in the world than someone saying they love something I have written. Writing helps me manage change, clarify emotion and tap into my absolute love of sound and rhythm. It also taps in to
I’m writing this looking over my beloved patch of woods that may soon be someone else’s view. This is a sad feeling but change is sometimes essential, even if it is forced by the actions of another. Fingers crossed where ever we go next will be as full of passerine chatter and eerie night screeches.
Slivers of sadness are tempered beautifully with excitement at a new role. I’ve been appointed as a columnist for a new magazine called Spelt, the brainchild of the wonderful Wendy Pratt. Here’s how she describes it
Spelt Magazine is on a mission to celebrate and validate the rural experience. With four seasonal print issues per year, we aim to provide a platform for rural writers and to those creatives exploring nature, landscape, the interconnected nature of creative writing and the natural world and the liminality of natural areas within the urban landscape.Wendy Pratt – Founder of Spelt Magazine
This ties in with a nagging feeling I’ve had for some time – that writing about rural life is somehow unfashionable, that real poets write about gritty urban landscapes and lives lived with theatrical edge. Whist this pattern of thought says more about me, and that I need to have respect for my own writing, I have a strong feeling that Spelt is going to chime with many people who feel a little alienated by the popular portrayal rural existence – and hungry to tell of it’s reality. The content of my columns has to remain secret (how exciting!) but it’s fair to say this is a wonderful opportunity to be part of something I really believe in.
This past week has brought a little more regular writing too – I’m taking inspiration from Susie Dent’s Word Perfect a fabulous book that brings a new word to each day. Every morning I encounter a new word and write a small, possibly (definitely) silly poem. It’s a fun, brain oiling, start to the day.
I’m trying to develop a strong routine which allows balance between paid work, poetry and managing my health – it’s going ok; I’m breaking my work down into smaller chunks, and trying to be strict with myself about keeping one day aside for all things poetry related. Early starts are my friend and give me more workable hours. At the moment I’m gathering a few poems for submission to magazines, and anxiously waiting to hear about my pamphlet, as well as spending my day-to-day writing copy for various agencies and companies.
It almost feels as though I may actually be able to call myself a writer. Which is all I’ve ever wanted to be; I just never knew what it looked like. Turns out it’s someone who writes.
Sending hopeful wishes to all – spring is round the corner.