I’ve had a little holiday this week. I’ve been to very few places, talked to very few people and existed in a quiet calm I’ve not enjoyed for months. Being introverted is doesn’t mean I don’t like people, parties and the general bonhomie of a crowd. It means that too much bonhomie is exhausting. It’s not always easy to find time to be alone, and when I’ve over-peopled, it’s really hard to wind down. A few days alone at home has restored and rejuvenated and given me time to reset a little.
I’ve also had more time to play with because of a downturn in my content writing work. I really miss the rhythm of it and hope things will pick up soon. One of my goals for the week was to apply for five new jobs, and as part of my application I realised I really love the idea that my words are helping a business succeed. I take so much pride in what I do, and whilst it’s not always the most glamorous of roles, it’s something that brings structure and calm to my week.
So what have else I done with my few days of introvert solace? Another goal was to submit five poems for consideration by lit journals. My focus on Dust meant I submitted very little last year and I feel I need to get myself back into the scene a little. One of the side benefits of exploring potential publication opportunities is that it means I read a huge amount of new poetry, which informs and inspires my own work.
I have a poem about murmuration (it’s hard to find a poet who doesn’t) and I’ve been looking for images to use alongside the words. It’s taken a while to identify the right ones, but the wonder that is Andrew Fusek Peters has kindly agreed to allow me to work with his fabulous photographs taken at nearby Cheswardine. I’m thrilled.
Poetry film seems to nudge something awake for me. I enjoy the fact that I can create something similar to a cut up or blackout poem, using the combination of image and language to shift emphasis. I’m very new to it and the treasure that is imposter syndrome creeps in of course, but the excitement I feel at building layering each element outweighs these nerves.
Endings and beginnings
This weekend sees the end of my exhibition with Maggie Cameron. It’s fantastic that what started as a fun thing to do each morning has become something that we’re both proud of. My only regret is that I didn’t read at the launch (for exceptionally good reasons). We are planning to create a book that will include poems and images that weren’t part of the exhibition and my goal is to read for that.
My final goal for the week was to spend some time reviewing and editing what I hope will be my next pamphlet. I have a month of mentoring with Wendy Pratt in April, and I’m keen to nail down both the theme of the pamphlet and the poems that fit. My problem is that a lot of the work drifts in and out of my three major themes and I’m in a place of ridiculous indecision. My desk is flurry of A5 sheets with ever-shifting homes. At least i know what next week’s goal is…
Restoration not renovation
This week has been invaluable for me. As many of you know, M.E. means I have limited useful hours in each day and careful planning is needed to get any tasks done. I’m coming up to my 10 year anniversary of being ill (party hats at the ready…) and I’m proud of the way I’ve learned to live with my health. The relentless search for a cure has ceased and I focus my efforts on living the best way I can within my limitations. Having time to focus on creativity, and on myself means a sense of reconnecting. It’s the kind of feeling I always get on holiday and to have been able to find it in my own four walls is wonderful.
Thank you for reading,
Until next time