Creative Writing, Progress

Clearing things up

Things have changed for this one writer in progress.

In reality it’s time for my blogging to catch up. One Friday a month I’ve decided to provide a bit of an update of real-life events.

Changes don’t happen overnight, and the more we know, the easier it is to go with the new flow.  I will continue to post poetry on a Monday, and I intend to keep readers in the know with regard to short story developments, but if you have chosen to follow me purely for poetry, I don’t want to inundate you with articles and prose posts. I think I have figured wordpress out. Always the learning curve!

If you’re no longer interested in the progression and plans for this writer, please unfollow.

If you plan to hang around – thank you, and off we go:

Since becoming a subscriber to the Psychologies Magazine in 2017, and an Ambassador for the magazine in 2018, I have to admit, life has become rather mindful. My mind was always consciously aware before today, wanting to help others and the world, but by gum, the word mindful is used so much nowadays the overuse can be as scary as ‘psychology’ and ‘mental’.

Personally, I’ve never been afraid of using these words, why? Well, I know they are used a lot by medical and health professionals, you know, therapists, coaches, social workers, doctors, nurses. Are there any more? Probably! And me, myself and I am a real believer in self-help and self-awareness tools, therefore I need to be open-minded.

First, what do I know about Mental Health? Not enough!

Although, I think having worked behind the scenes within one of these particular practices or more; Health, Education, Universities and reading in Magazines and Journals and more, the words has become the norm. When words become the norm they are not to be feared or pointed at, they are just words that identify a topic of discussion. The term ‘mental health’ is getting a lot more attention of late, but that is because there is a confusion behind the essential active-meaning and that is down to a generational culture-gap.

To me a 1980s generational type, maybe my mind didn’t evolve mentally until the 1990s. However, ‘mental health’ has a personal dual meaning in the 21st Century:

1. Mental health is generally and historically associated in parallel with another word – sectioned. Now this word is not the greatest. If I hear the word sectioned in health related terms, I do fear – I fear for the person who has been sectioned. Sadly, a person has become without will-power and lacks self-control, or are at risk of self-harm. From what I remember the term ‘sectioned’ refers to legal codes of violation and the need to enforce a law to offer protection. I’ve promised myself I won’t get too legal about it.

2. The 21st Century new generations have given a new buzz to the use of the term mental-health, it is now also about social and emotional-health and welfare. It is in how we think, react and function, maybe I can throw in the idea that we have the capacity to take control of our lives. Not all of us will have the capacity to be in control, all of the time. Some of us will want to be cared for, need to be cared for, have to be cared for, but for the majority of humanity, I like to think, we want to make and mindfully take-care of ourselves if we can.

Something I believe I can share, because I have learned from past employment experiences with the Social Services Sector, also through lifestyle choices, often making mistakes; and highlighted upon during my poetic literary episodes as a non academic. Let’s not forget the recent reading Marie Darrieussecq who is a French Psychologist and an Author of some fascinating fantasy fiction.

Is there a connection to be found with mental-health and my recent translations of a language? 

In my attempts at translating french I fully appreciate the power of words.  Darrieussecq has a way with words, and through the power of poetic prose her stories tend to deliver – within translations – an often lyrical landscape, setting and pastoral perspective, capturing a moment in time. She has the ability to discuss psychological subjects without showing the problem. She talks to the reader about matters that can arise within fantasy-fiction, and in my own translation of her non-fiction, she provokes thought.

pexels-photo-129413.jpegThanks to practising my version of I-Ching within Experimental writing, my own writing has entered a new era, the shift has been mind-blowing.  It felt right for me to write a little poetry inspired by page sixty-five and beyond of my own attempt at translating the non-fiction le bebe (2005) and combine my chosen words with the act of participating in the real-life-actions, doing a lot of decluttering with the Life Labs and Leap Club.

I shared a few mindful poems on this blog, Clearing Out.

I want to say,  I wonder how many men talk about the Art of decluttering? I jest and I won’t go on, because I am playing into the hands of feminism and if I were a feminist, I wouldn’t have made the time to do what I am doing as the Writer.  To adapt the well quoted lines of Virginia Woolf – It is because of my good man that I have a room of ones own and the time to write.  I feel very fortunate to have the time and the man in my life. Should I have written that sentence differently? Does it matter? To me both time and the man have each their own unique value.  I happily settle with the imperfection of my line. Would a feminist do that?

With my tongue firmly in cheek, the men in my own lively realms of life, (husband/father/grandfather) they run away when I even mention the words – tidy up, and the word ‘baby’. I often wonder what would happen if I wasn’t here doing my bit?Arguably there would be neither the child, nor anyone to nag about the decluttering, the end.

But, I am alive and here to speak when I need to!

As the poet, I have had to spend a lot of time mindfully in the past, and the recent clearing out has resulted in more change. I have had to draw a line and stop researching the old poetry habits #AGirlfromHull #BlueButterflyTrail, and #TruthaboutRoots. After three years it was time to stop and let go, because the writer needs to find their discipline, create a goal, and stop when the goal is achieved. I sound like a Sports Coach, where did I pick that up? The habits have become part of my routine as the Poet.  The practise and research has served me well. Now I have a new goal, to finish my Young Adult Fantasy Novel.

What will happen to my Poetry Research?

I plan to self-publish the three year collection of poetry during summer 2018, no date is confirmed as yet, my editing skills are presently being tested.

Finally! I am in the editing phase for the poems. I like to leave a four to six month gap between writing and editing, so I can have fresh eyes. I have my 100 poems written in solitude.  I had more poems. It’s been a long haul of cutting and editing. I am having to encourage new habits, and I wrote about this in a very vague way last month for Life Labs. Sometimes I wonder who I am when I write blogs. I feel like a Prophetic Self who doesn’t quite make any sense – maybe I have succeeded in becoming the Philosopher? Maybe within the nonsense there is a chain-reaction happening. All I know is that I love to write, even if to some readers it makes absolutely no sense. I felt like that about the Christian Bible for years.

I often read books that make no sense. Maybe that is the influence, especially if we are what we read.

I have a sense of humour this week.  At least I can finally laugh at myself.

Have I learned anything new recently?

I’ve identified consciously that every word we read is a moment past. Even in writing this blog and sharing it today, the moment that arose to collate and distribute these words has gone. It is of the past and I will probably have something else to say by now.  I’ve noticed this whilst I participate in a little adventure with the Psychologies Magazine and I have decided to review my progress as the writer.  If self-analysis was good enough for Freud, then it is good enough for me. I am not a psychologist, but I do care about how people are treated and cared for, and I do believe that a little self-help can go a long way to protecting our ‘minds’. I’ve shared  some pretty deep stuff over on the Life Labs, so only go there if you can handle emotional narrative, a diary can be a powerful tool.

For me the decluttering is ongoing, and self-awareness-self-study is an ongoing process – forever a work in progress. The writer part of me and the philosopher is ready to rise to the challenge of writing the novel, soon, so watch this space.

I like to thank the people that helped me along the way as a Writer.

I have come this far because I asked for help. You will already know by now that Dr. H. Chadderton pointed me toward M. Darrieussecq. I still can’t believe I emailed Marie, but that is another story. However, there was another helper, he is Dr. J. Lawrence, who had shown me the Renaissance, and ensnared my mind with the likes of E. Spenser, Dante and Shakespeare. Over the summer I will share some of my own poetry nonsense that was inspired because of Dr. J. Lawrence’s resource prompts.

I can only hope the experience I have shared over the last three years in writing poetry in solitude, dually with the act of decluttering, and the recent insight that words and titles can become something different over time. I have delivered in real-time a portfolio of evidence that has observed change happening as a steady methodical shift. Flexibility and adaptability have become core values and I hope for future generations it isn’t just the woman that sound like the nag, and that everyone both masculine and feminine may both nag sometimes, in deciding to take care of their environment and life for themselves, because, they mindfully can.

Next Month: Over at Life Labs they are talking about finding a purpose.

  • What have I purposely discovered? I am yet to edit my findings.
  • There will be more thanks to Dr. J. Lawrence for prompting me toward an epic direction. I am such a life-long-learner. Informally titled Geek!
  • And maybe a book review or two about the Renaissance Period, because this summer this writer feels like an Effervescent Renaissance Warrior, playing out the role of Lara Croft in life. Ah! The escapism and the adventures of a Writer!

Thanks for sticking with me these last few years and I hope to keep on writing. . . and sharing words on this blog, #selfawareness has become the greatest of self-discovery and I guarantee if you choose to give the practise of Creative Writing a try, in whichever style that floats your sail boat, you may surprise yourself.

I surprise myself every week, and if I am really lucky, everyday. Thankfully, I like surprises. How about you?

J. Spencer, June 2018, Creative Writing

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