The smart amongst you will know this was written after the fact, when I was home, because there was simply not the brain space that existed to properly process at the time. If truth be told, there is still not the space to do that. I’m continuing to break it down and manage the changes to my outlook. This has already affected my work, and when I’m finally awake? TRUST ME. I’m gonna be proper deadly.
Sunday was Nafeesa Hamid, a British Pakistani poet based in the Midlands. She’s also uncompromising when it comes to discussion of mental health, and the second poet I know who’s been sectioned. This is the collection I will be buying, and again I wish I’d had the courage to ask for a signed copy… we’ll get there. We’ll UTTERLY get there.
This is the moment where I admit I’d never heard of Carola Luther until I saw her. The work was quiet, thoughtful and reflective, which worked perfectly in opposition to Nafeesa. It was the perfect end to a stupendous weekend. I also have to give massive snacks and props to the Young Poets who supported all these behemoths of the poetry world and did not seem to bat an eyelid when doing so. Oh, to have that level of confidence at any part of my life.
I have a massive debt of thanks to pass to Clare, Kim and Katie who organized all this. My horizons have been broadened and my possibilities scattered. There was so much more to add to this too: conversations with random attendees, the joy of the Open Mic and early morning poetry writing sessions, Kendal in general (which I’d love to have the time to explore further) and the emergent realization that all this can be something I do and experience without fear or doubt.
This has been the best three days away I’ve had for many, MANY years.
The first proper project I’ve undertaken for myself alone is DONE, or at least it will be once the subtitling is fixed tomorrow. I have two more projects ready to roll starting Friday, though the chances are I will start early on them both. Most importantly today, something I said was fixed a couple of months ago and wasn’t will finally be done. There is no time left to pretend stuff is working. It all needs to be done.
Also, it doesn’t matter if only a handful of people look at my work. I made progress.
It was inevitable, of course, after last week’s 200 plus views triumph of video making and poetry reading that there would be a plan. I’m going to post this and then spend my Friday night making title cards for the next two projects in the series. Without giving anything away, they will be called ‘Wander’ and ‘Golden Mile’, both of which will have a connection to water. They coincide with journeys to two different locations in the next couple of months.
September’s is provisionally entitled ‘Fast as You Can’ and has nothing to do with Fiona Apple. This is me, using my free time as a means to create content, and it helps establish a routine that will get me publishing five poems a month with videos to accompany them. If anything, it will show potential organizations that a) I’m not fucking about and b) I can do my own promotion. Maybe one day someone will pay me for this… who knows?
Whatever the outcome, I am having fun organizing it all…
This is the most significant thing I have done for myself in quite some time. It’s more important than my first book launch yesterday, and I do not state that lightly. Having the space not just to breathe but step back and consider things is crucial at this stage of my progression. There needs to be far more time thinking and far less worrying about what other people are doing. They are not me. I am a unique and important resource, and that’s not meant as new age bunkum.
I am currently in the middle of a TV show which is forcing some serious reconsideration of my mindset. I like being able to critically appraise what is being seen and read. It makes me realize the particular tools that will be required long term to do my personal ‘brand’ justice. No, I do not want to influence. I am here to disrupt, and long may the desire to do so continue. Too many people are sitting by idly doing nothing and watching their freedoms be eroded.
Change is a difficult time. I am permanently undergoing change. This suits me just fine.
It’s been proper mad since Thursday. I’m running on five hours sleep, with a high stress presentation under my belt, and literally only now sat and realized ‘oh yeah, you haven’t blogged anything for three days…’ except of course I have, but that was work, not personal. Anyway, the project above is why I’m not really here right now. That needs to change tomorrow coz I just booked a new Open Mic spot for Thursday. It’s all go here, chums.
A few weeks back, someone forced-unfollowed me on social media who was involved in a local arts project I really wanted to be a part of. This morning, unsurprisingly, I discovered they’d not picked my work. I make no secret of how badly people can be treated in rejection. This one was the final straw. I am not going to be beholden to such folly again. My path is mine to dictate from now on and though there may be struggle, I’m not fucking working with those people ever again.
It takes time to form habits. There is merit in failing, multiple times, in order to finally find the means by which success can be held and nurtured. This is absolutely the way now, under my own steam and on my own terms and woe betide anyone who now tries to stop the march of progress, because not only is it coming, it has already arrived. You will rue the day you decided not to include me.
For the last three weeks I’ve been working on a project which is (almost) put to rest now, there’s just the small matter of subtitling it and checking I’ve not fucked anything up terribly. It’s the next step forward in my poetry journey, too. A proper narrative. Actors, and locations. Big undertaking with only me as production team, writer and director. It takes me back to when it wasn’t video, but film production that was being learnt.
I have no idea how any of this will be received, either. Criticism is fine, there’s no worries about people telling me what they think. This isn’t just about the content after all, more whether it is possible to make something from nothing. Once upon a time, I’d struggle to be organized enough to get through a week as a mum without having the ability to do anything else. This is a whole different world, and I am so pleased to have had the time and space to inhabit it.
The timing of this couldn’t be better professionally, either, because a job opportunity has emerged where this stuff can actually be used as credit. That’s not why it was done, of course, but the point remains that if people are going to take me seriously, this is the kind of content I need to be able to output. For that alone, this might end up being the most important thing I do all year.