I was lucky enough to be asked down to Poetry Jam in Durham last night, to support Rose Condo's spoken word show, "How to Starve an Artist", along with Aaron Wright from OWL writers. I read a few pieces from "Clockwork Magpies", the steampunk short story collection I've been working on for about a year (though the idea has been there, I realised this week, for about four.) I was really happy for the chance to showcase my newest work, especially since there were a lot of people there that I care about, and whose opinions I really wanted to get before I move forward with the collection.
Rose's show was a beautiful exploration of nourishment - both nutritional and soulful. While she was performing, she made food for the audience - some hummus open-faced sandwiches - served after a dessert of sweets, because "we are all adults, here." There was a real sense of togetherness, as we all sat together and ate, listening to some amazing, emotional poetry. And, as I watched Rose perform, I realised that this show was exactly what I needed to hear this week.
Recently, I've been feeling very over-worked, anxious, and busy (rather than productive, which is a really nice feeling). The Day Job has been taking a lot out of me, lately - and every spare ounce of energy has been put into reading, reviewing, and trying to write new stuff for Clockwork Magpies. I've been feeling drained and low for a few weeks (low-key, not bad enough to be classed as a legitimate Low Period, which I am prone to, as well), and it wasn't until I heard Rose's titular poem of her show that I realised exactly what is happening;
"Breed instead a steadfast belief
In the sanctity of being
Praise proactive practicality
Make mortgages and wages
The sole sacred reality..."
Many, many more lines from Rose's show resonated with me as I was listening (don't even get me started on her poem about her overuse of the word "sorry"...), and it came to me that I've been so busy trying to further my career recently, that I haven't given myself time to do things that, well, nourish me. I've not been scheduling myself properly, so I've neglected certain aspects of my job(s) - especially this blog, in the last week - because I've been so tired from other things. I haven't been reading for pleasure. I haven't been allowing myself time to relax, without thinking "I should be doing this instead." Worst of all, I haven't seen my friends as much. That last one, at least, changed last night, as I got to spend time with people that I love to be around - poets and writers who are full of life, and love, and happiness - as cheesy as that sounds. People who are supportive, and funny, and vibrant. So, in that way, I am feeling more nourished than I have in a while. Long may it continue!
Musings on my life as a writer.