Words are exciting and powerful. They can start wars. Stop wars. Help us fall in or out of love. They heal and they hurt in equal measure. I love language and love to use it to illuminate the world around me.
I have always written, from early stories about running away, earnest teenage poetry about the state of the world, to scrappy musings about everything that puzzled or beguiled. I never took my work seriously, and was too afraid to show anyone; I focused on my career and more user friendly pastimes like gardening and my love of live music.
Put simply, I contracted M.E. as the result of viral Tonsillitis. I lost my career of twenty years, lost the ability to do all the things I love – from growing vegetables and baking to walking, carousing, gigging and general raucous fun. Constant pain, constant fatigue,and my particular favourite “brain fog” stole my life.
Why did I go back to writing?
I started to keep a journal, mainly to vent the frustration and grief I felt for for my old life.This worked reasonably well. Most importantly I remembered how much I loved to write. It was amazing to write creatively again, and not just for sales or training materials.
A couple of years into my illness, I took the plunge and began studying Creative Writing with Open College of the Arts . They are flexible (good for health) and cheap (good for wealth), they’re also pretty good at what they do, giving me enough support to grow, but enough space to breathe.
I completed the first course in just over twelve months and began the next module, The Art of Poetry. This was a major leap for me. Reading and writing poetry is something I love, but it challenges me emotionally, and I found it hard to allow someone else to read what I had written. The feedback on my work was positive, and I found a fizz of excitement that had been missing for some time.
Thanks to Nine Arches Press Dynamo mentoring scheme, and Gerry Ryan, my first OCA tutor, I learnt about avenues for publication. In 2018 I began submitting to poetry magazines and journals. My first poem was published in Mslexia magazine in Autumn 2018 and you’ll find other examples of my poetry in print journals like Popshot Quarterly and online at places like Words for the Wild , Salt Water Zine, Nine Muses Poetry My happiest success to date to be longlisted in Paper Swans Press single poetry competition 2020 with my poem My death will grieve foxes (on being a hare in England).
I am gradually building my presence in the poetry world. As well as work in good quality poetry journals, online platforms and anthologies I have produced two pamphlets. The first, Yes to Tigers was published as part of my role as poet in residence for Secret Severn Arts group. My second pamphlet, Dust, will be available later this year and you can pre-order using the button below.
This year saw my most exciting appointment to date – being selected as a columnist for Spelt Magazine – This magazine is a fantastic new venture that celebrates the rural existence. It’s growing issue by issue and I can’t quite believe I’m part of it.
How can I support your work?
There are lots of ways to support my work. You can share my blog posts of social media updates, buy either (or both) of my pamphlets, or simply buy me some time to write.
Can you write me a poem?
I certainly can . I welcome commissions for bespoke poetry. Just follow the link to find out more or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you do any other sort of writing?
I work as a copywriter, producing engaging copy for a variety of clients on a range of subjects. If you’d like to find out more about my copywriting services, visit The Word Emporium or email email@example.com I’ll be happy to discuss rates, remits and show samples of my work.
Thank you so much for reading. If you’ve enjoyed my work please subscribe by pressing one of the buttons at the bottom of this post. You can read regular updates about my writing and about living with M.E. on my blog