Over the Rainbow

I’m really sorry everything fell apart for two weeks.

Writing right now has become aggressively visceral: I look at those people who seem to manage a lot better at these things and now grasp that they’re just not telling me as much as I am prepared to admit. Struggle, like so much else, is a subjective affair. What you think is wrong with someone (or something) could be a million miles away from the true reality of their situation. For me, it is important now to put the record straight.

I have submitted last week a poetry collection which, I realise now, was written not to hit a deadline or to try to gain me some traction in an incredibly fierce marketplace. I wrote it in order to move forward as a poet. It needed to happen in order to allow my brain the actual breathing space required to heal and grow. Is it possible to do this in your 50’s? Absolutely it is. I am emerging proof of a late-life renaissance in full progression. However, the consequences are significant.

That’s where we are now.

Validation in the last two weeks had nothing to do with a finished product being acknowledged, and everything to do with just saying stuff I’d wanted to ‘speak’ on paper for a long time. The collection that preceded it is a more general, less visceral version of the same desire. It’s now apparent that needed to happen to allow this lot of stuff out of my head and now, as everything is out, I’m left with a reasonably blank space in which new work can be created.

There are a couple of places I need to go back to, one piece of long-form fiction in particular which demands my attention, again because of the emotional baggage its holding on my behalf. Whether that happens next or later in the year, I can’t currently tell you. Now, I am between things. That means actually stopping, not getting sucked into something else immediately. It is allowing common sense to step in and go ‘right, nothing else for a while. Let yourself heal.

It is time to finally listen to myself and stop here for a bit.

I know why movement has become so important in my existence, because for the best part of a decade it’s been essential to not allow the past an opportunity to swallow current progress. Letting that stuff out has been a remarkable release of pressure. It also means I’m a bit lost as to where I go next: the main focus initially needs to be that I clean up what’s left here for content. The #Soundtracking and #Narrating stuff was supposed to carry on from May, but stopped after it became important to let other people speak.

Everything else is doable before the end of June. What now makes the most sense is to do that, and then use July as a natural break, so that’s going to be the plan. We’ll talk a bit more honestly about my self-publishing aspirations, how I can encourage more people to join me on Patreon, and get back to taking pictures. The fact I have literally zero photographs in the last couple of months was another red flag for my mental health.

A great many things need to change going forward.

Stones in the Road

That’s not how I expected the last couple of weeks to pan out, all told.

I’ve said elsewhere that I don’t want to talk about what’s happened: what’s done is done, and there’s no point in picking certain events to pieces. However, what this does mean going forward is a process of recovery which has put into relief other parts of my life that were being neglected pre-illness. In that regard, this is the right moment to take stock and consider what happens now.

There are a number of submissions I’ll do this month, but less than planned. I have a speaking gig booked locally for the 19th of this month, which is a priority. After that, everything else can wait. Therefore, this site and the Twitter account will go on hiatus until October 1st. This gives an opportunity to sort the world around me out a bit more (and it needs it) before coming back both fitter and stronger.

There are some other things too that happened whilst I was away. Whether or not I managed to get featured or not is yet to be seen: I’ll be poking the people concerned over this during the week to see if they can tell me if my consent form was worth the effort I had to make to get it printed whilst on holiday. Whatever happens, it’s been an eye opening fortnight.

Here’s to more surprises going forward.