success and a pixie cut

Keeping (or should I say tending) the 'creative' flame is difficult sometimes - with work, family and the general business of keeping a toddler and two other children alive. (caveat - first world problem)
Mostly, I work on general poetry stuff late at night, when everyone is asleep, and that is quite a magical, still time for me to focus on the words and thoughts and myself.

Ive had quite a few rejections recently, though, and a lot of 'near misses' in terms of first collection shortlists which are both encouraging and faintly galling. So near and so far ... etc.
I tend to feel that the business of writing and creating provides enough fulfilment in itself and sometimes I have to remind myself of this when it seems like the world is full of more interesting or 'better' poets. The 'achievement' is in the doing, not the result, and I truly find that the place of quiet creation is where I find the deepest self fulfilment.

However, I need some outside affirmation to feel, in a sense, that I am not working into a void. I love it when someone contacts me out of the blue to say they like a poem. It is such a generosity. These little resonances are as important as large recognitions.

Saying all that, I was delighted to find out I've won first prize in the London Magazine poetry competition with a poem about a moor. Yes it is brilliant to have an objective 'success' but what I am most pleased about is that my poem reached across and made itself real to someone else. It has a beating pulse, and a life of its own.

A voice told me to enter that poem into that competition, one of those voices that comes into your mind when you are walking to the swings. So I listened to it, and I did.

I think of the creative part of me as a little blue flame, like you used to get in those heavy old gas heaters that could be wheeled about. Affirmations like these make that blue flame burn a little fiercer, and brighter.


And now, on a completely different note, is an article I wrote about getting a pixie cut.
And I am kind of proud of this too, though in a completely different way.
Thanks for reading


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