So, you wanna be a poet?
That don’t impress a me much. . .
I know. It is a pretty bad take on that Shania Twain song from the late nineties, or was it early noughties? All I know, is that particular song was played on the air-waves of a Builder’s Radio whilst I was working as an Office Manager for the Social Services Department in Hull back in 1999ish. We were setting up a support service for young people. When I say we, I mean the Local Council. I worked for them so I talked about my role like royalty. I was so proud to be part of the team.
Little had I realised I was going to have to endure a radio station which played Shania extremely regularly, and adverts. . . Grrr. . . I could have asked the builder to turn the music off, but in my gut I felt it was necessary to endure the moments. Who was I to change a channel that two other people were happy to listen to?
And. . . without that singular momentary experience I may never have opened this blog today with a Shania song-twist. Funny, isn’t it? How life bleeds into your writing whether you wish it or not. Last week, I had said I was going to share how I avoided going simply mad when taxing myself to write my own pure poetry. I am not sure whether I did manage to avoid it. Everything became so very spiritual!
Dare I share my findings. I could remove that opening paragraph if I wanted to. Why add Shania at all? That is how I think as a writer – do I leave the words in the manuscript, should I take the words out? Will anyone have related it to me? Some writers writing non-fiction want you to relate to the subject matter, the narrator wants you to feel a little of how they felt, whether it be unhappiness, elation, tragedy, maybe sympathy – read the Christian Bible and you may have a revelation.
I have learned so much in isolation, and still there is so much I don’t know.
After translating page sixty-five of the book about the baby by Marie Darrieussecq, in my poorest of efforts. I was translating – old school style – without apps, just a dictionary or two and the one extremely clever dictionary I managed to get-a-hold-of for free had only covered the words from A to I. The task was never going to be straight forward. The little mini dictionary was a God send and I have to admit the synonym left click option really heeded in the Word Document. Or should I say it hindered my attempts as sometimes looking for the easy route makes the journey longer. Did I mention, everything was getting pretty spiritual.
What does Shania have to do with this next piece of poetry? Absolutely nothing, all very random, or not. Because this year I realised the Radio had also affected how I translated and interpreted words. Tut-Tut BBC Radio 2, but it wasn’t their Radio Presenters fault for being so fascinating to listen to, they made me chuckle, they made me feel connected to the world, all I had to do was turn the radio off, and I didn’t.
Even in solitude, I didn’t wish to be in silence mode: One Woman’s Lament
Thank you to BBC Radio 2 and Marie Darrieussecq for keeping me company during the days of convalescing and lament between 2015 to 2017. I thought I could become a Poet. I became a Poet and deep down within, the Poet ideology was giving me the time to physically mend. The whole experience in understanding a Philosophy for the Art, Creative Writing has been quite life changing.
Recently the words shared by Jules Evans who I spoke about back in 2016 have become prevalent again. His book The Philosophy of Life I read a few years ago. This book struck a chord with me on so many levels and when I met him at an evening Lecture promoting his book at the University of Hull, his own experiences as a Philosopher and Writer ignited my own desire to research the many levels and purpose of life. This isn’t something every poet has to do, however it was a direction I needed to head toward. Goodness knows what I would discover.
I’ve been so fortunate to have the time to research at my leisure. Time can be the greatest of healers, and our purpose in life is unique and individual – that is what I have identified along the way as a learned poet. It is within the many memories we have that our stories or maybe Poems filter through. What we see, what we hear, what we read, and what we choose to share.
To choose solitude as a Writer’s method of practice, we can only discover a sense of self.
While the (f)ilosophy for the Art, Creative Writing draws to a close, in being One Writer in Progress as a Poet, I did immerse myself in poetry. I am proud of that, and produced at least one little something every week for three whole years. I will keep going, why not. I enjoy it.
However, in recent months I have re-opened my filed-drafts for writing a fantasy novel. The question is, now that I am ready to be part of the social world again, will I have the time to re-write and edit my writing works? As long as I avoid busyness and align some time, I am sure I will be fine. Not mad, just fine!
Next time: How do writer’s make the time to write when life gets so busy?
Thank you for reading. J. Spencer, May 2018