Why it’s worth stepping back

My brain is more than quite contrary. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been drawing back from writing, feeling unsure where to go next. I almost need an anchor, and I certainly crave the balm of encouragement. I’m not fabulous at asking for these, so I tend to withdraw instead. It’s also the time of seed-sowing and plant tending, which is always my favourite distraction. I love the perpetual hope of a garden. As a consequence, I’ve felt that little actual writing has been happening other than hurried pieces for my final poetry school assignments. Thinking back though, I realise my brain has been sorting and storing and assimilating ideas . I realise I’ve been jotting down phrases that strike me as interesting or odd and I realise that I never really stop writing. Drawing back a little gives me time to breathe and reconfigure. I’m not alone in having my sharpest ideas at that magical point between sleeping and waking, and the simple act of changing focus gives my mind chance to wander and to wonder.

I’ve had one of my favourite poems published too, it’s a favourite because it began at one of those curious moments of absolute clarity and peace. More often than not I am tied up with anxiety, so these moments are rare and precious. I wanted to capture the calm power that I feel and absorb from the sea, so I focused on creating that rhythm. This poem has been slow to perfect ; it’s over a year old and has had many tweaks and twists, This final version is one that I’m happy with, and one that had its final polish has part of Wendy Pratt’s excellent How to Write a Poem workshop that I took at the start of the year. The workshop was entirely online, but Wendy helped create a fab collaborative feel, and it was great to have feedback and interaction from other poets.  You can read View from Cook’s beach on Saltwaterzine, and it’d be ace if you’d like it and give a spot of feedback.

I need to begin my next round of submissions and polish up a couple of competition entries, but I think I’m going to spend as much time as I can with my seedlings too. It’s all about balance.

Thank you to everyone who likes, shares and comments on my work and my posts. It’s so valuable both personally (you’ve no idea how much it boosts my confidence) and in terms of getting my work read. Writing is a solitary occupation, throw in the complications of M.E. and it becomes even more so. A bit of interaction is great, and it’s so good to see when someone has enjoyed what I’ve written. Thank you!

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