Now, I’m not a fan of lemonade but I appear to have an abundant supply of it’s ingredients. What a convoluted way to say things have been a little tricky of late.
The reduction in regular paid work has continued, and I’m now in a situation where my income is precisely zero. It’s hard, not just in terms of cash (I’m a good belt tightener and don’t have complications like children to worry about) but in terms of esteem. I can’t work a lot, but the few hours I could do made me feel valuable and part of the world. Losing that has taken a lot out of me.
Yet it’s also forced me to look at how I use my time. I’ve bemoaned the fact that I have very little time/health/energy for poetry or fiction writing and always prioritise paid work. A sensible strategy of course, but is this how I define myself? Is this how I want to spend my days? I miss the routine and simplicity of content writing – I could get the buzz from having written, without quite as much anguish. But is quiet routine all I want. Well yes, in a way – but perhaps this change is what I needed to force me to reprioritise at least for a while. I’d been mulling over the idea that maybe the last couple of months have been some sort of “sign” when I happened upon these wise words from Jay Blades during a morning scroll.
I’m not an “inspirational quote” kind of gal, but sometimes reading something like this can help to clarify and give a much needed sense of unity. It made me feel less despondent.
Having said that, I still need some sort of income and so I’ve returned to the idea of using my skills to create beautiful gifts. As well as bespoke poetry, I’m working on a series of flower poems. Using my knowledge of folk tales, flower meaning and many of my own photographs, I’m creating short, sweet poems that I hope people will buy and enjoy. It’s very early days, but fingers crossed it’ll work. Even if not, I’m enjoying the discipline of writing a new poem each day. It’s cool that I’m just in time for NaPoWriMo too. You can buy birthday flower poems from my Etsy shop.
As well as my foray into entrepreneurship, I’m looking blocking out time to focus on two other projects – poetry film and my new book of indeterminate size. Next week sees the start of four weeks mentoring with Wendy Pratt, and I’m hoping my vague ideas of what I want to create will crystallise. I’m a bit nervous, and very excited.
Lemons there may be, doors may be closing, and others may seem jammed, but I’m determined to keep going. I might even develop a liking for lemonade.