Archives for posts with tag: creative portfolio

SSA40433

Looking Back at Cuttings and Proteas: a log entry about growth and development

Two years and 217 posts ago the BeadedQuill blog was born. On 15th June 2013, after decades of hiding my fiction writing in notebooks, I decided to share it with the wider world. To my 123 signed-up blog followers, I say a thank you. To my 659 Twitter followers and 24 Facebook followers, I also say thank you. I hope you derive some pleasure from my ramblings. To my other readers and supporters, I send appreciation across the cyber-sphere. To those of you who have purchased my work, long life and good health to you! Some of the profits will go into my National Insurance contribution.

Since last year, I have published two books, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys and In the Ocean: a year of poetry. These books incorporate 129 poems written between April 2013 and April 2014. In the last 6 weeks I have posted a further 9 “fresh” poems. Since starting this blog in 2012, the grand total therefore stands at three available titles and 158 poems written by me out there in the world (and possibly a few rogue ones in letters and on scraps of paper). I mention all this as it has been said, “What can be measured can be assessed”. Productivity for April 2013 – 2014 stood at a poem every 2.8 days.

I’ll spare you the productivity tally for blog postings, but will say that being accountable to a public readership compels me to produce copy. This in itself has been a valuable working method that helped with producing articles and the two long-form projects on which I am currently working. (Spoiler: a potential novel and a non-fiction book about travel.)

I continue to work on brand BeadedQuill. This coming year I would really like to focus on matters such as ‘income stream’ and ‘product development’, ‘marketing’ and ‘audience/market development’. To be honest, these topics tire and frighten me a little. At present, I just want to write and practise (plus a bit of Bachata thrown in for diversion).  The business plan, currently a collection of scribbled notes and mind-maps, needs to be formalised.

In the year ahead, I must once again look into the following: journal submissions, the possibility of securing a literary agent, more readings and public appearances. I need to travel! (Buenos Aires for a tango holiday, ideally.) A change of landscape and diversion will recharge me, I believe. I’ve considered investigating doctoral research in creative practice.

This time last year I was in excellent health, after recovering fully from a nasty turn in 2012. This year, I wish I could say the same. Unfortunately, I experienced a little “flare” (the doctor’s poetic take on the matter) about four weeks ago. A glut of corticosteroids is bringing me ‘round, with a journey into highways of insomnia, mild hallucination (and hearing things), emotional intensity and a pervading drug-induced buzz. On occasions like this, the every two steps forward on the health journey seem undermined by the five steps back. Nonetheless, I pick myself up and go back to start.

“Zen mind, beginner’s mind is apparently a desired state for the eternal student. Encounter moments and activity as though for the first time. In this way you will let it teach you.” I wrote this as the opening of my very first post. This is still such a challenging approach. When your efforts seem to show progress, this provides direction and solace. I don’t want to keep going back to start – with The Writing or with health, or with any other number of circumstances of my life. It is nice to feel as though I’m building something.

To counter beginner’s despair, I say to myself, “There must be something redemptive here.” In addition to the number crunching at the opening, I am pleased to acknowledge that another year later –indeed, three years and seven months after my first conscious day of applying pen to paper – I am still engaged in the labour of Being A Writer.

Since my first post, I have also figured out how to insert a link to my Twitter account.

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With the spit and 
fizz of fireworks,
I clinked flutes 
of resolutions
on a New Year’s Night.

Now March, the ashes
have blown away.


A week ago, I wrote about how my effervescent poetry-writing productivity has ebbed. Wail and gnash as I might, not much seems to be helping. In fact, strange circumstances have stalled production when I have tried to propel it.

Last week, for some indecipherable reason, I could not access my wordpress account from my home laptop. Readers on other computers and devices, indeed, in other countries, were able to enjoy the verses on BeadedQuill. But all I got on my screen was a little pixelated Tyrannosaurus informing me that that ‘this page is not available’.

The usual commitments and tasks of my week clattered in. Against them I asserted, come the weekend, I would sit down to writing and posting.

My landlady informed me that we would be without WiFi for a couple of days.

Fizzle.

I know, I know. A writer only needs pen and paper, and imagination. But it’s amazing how the non-presence of one’s hosted blog and WiFi can puncture the already deflating momentum of a flagging poet.

Enough moaning, for I have produced a poem for you today.
Enjoy!

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Since this time last year, my first volume of poems has been available for purchase. You can preview both Shining in Brightness and my second book, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys, at my Blurb Bookshop. Both books are available in hardcover and softcover. I’m sure you’d like to fill that gap in your bookshelf.