Just a little catch-up regarding my writing, etc.
As Plath said, "For the few little outward successes I may seem to have, there are acres of misgivings and self-doubts." Plath also said that self-doubt is "the greatest enemy to creativity." True, indeed. So thank you to all those who provided reassurance a while back. It did help.
What's also helped a great deal is plunging into this year's NaPoWriMo at PFFA. NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is, as many of you know, a challenge similar to NaNoWriMo, in which the participants attempt to write a poem a day throughout the month of April. I have persisted in spite of illness, and it's done so much for my self-discipline, and also for my confidence. Nothing makes me feel better about writing than writing itself. As Plath said, again (note to self: you're too old for a Plath obsession, get over it), when you stop writing, even for a very short amount of time, you cease to be a poet and become a sort of poet-in-rest. Which is an uncomfortable place to be, in a way, and it's hard to start again. One thing I've learned is Just Keep Writing. I was reading Mslexia yesterday and somebody or other said her motto was: "It doesn't have to be good. It just has to be written." Or something like that. That helps a great deal, because I think I'm so frightened, sometimes, of not being able to write well, or write promisingly, that I don't write at all. Which is lethal, of course. Anyway, if you want to read my sketchyfirstdraft-filled NaPo thread, it's here.
That's recent news. Less recent news is that we had the Runnymede Lit Festival. I did the two workshops, run by Jo Shapcott and Dell Olsen, which were good, took something away from those. I also discovered a new poet, that I really like, at a reading. His name is Adam O'Riordan. He also has Seth-Lakeman, beautiful-man appeal, which helps, naturally. I spoke to him briefly on Facebook. His new pamphlet, Queen of the Cotton Cities, is being launched at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London on May 15th, 6:30-8:30pm. I highly recommend his work, so be there if you can. Hopefully I will.
I've got lots of competitions ahead that I'm thinking of entering. Hopefully, after NaPo, I'll have lots of stuff to enter. The big one, though, is that I'm going for this year's Tower Poetry Summer School. So I need to send three poems and a covering letter, which is underway. For the three poems, there's Novenary obviously (God, I'm still such a one-trick pony), but I'm not sure about the others yet. I did ask Dell Olsen for help in the end. She said to make sure I include a range of stuff, which was damned good advice, but apart from that she didn't say much. She's a busy lady, of course.
Well, I'm still poorlysick so I was up at five, writing, and saw the lovely dawn. I've just put mugs of tea by my dozing parents, which I think qualifies me for the Daughter of the Year Award. And all of this is completely dull and unnecessary so I'm going to shut up right about.... now.