Acknowledging who you are…

We can often be in denial about who we really are, what we want and what we are willing to do. On my creative journey I have found it uncomfortable to write that I am a writer or a poet, despite me having filled diaries, notebooks, the backs of envelopes and my phone with observations on life; short stories; and poems.

I write when I need to. Not consistently but when I am moved. When I want to vent an emotion. So I don’t see myself as poet or a writer. Yet despite me performing on a more regular basis than ever before; despite me having wrote a whole play and performed part of it and despite my newest project of self publishing a book of my poems.

Sometimes, outside confirmation is what we need.

Today I accepted my first paid poetry gig.

Pretty amazing huh. Mad for me considering I only started performing late this year. From that performance, the theatre programmer thought I’d be ideal to do some poetry/ spoken word or story telling on International Women’s Day. I would have performed free of charge at this event but being paid for it will be pretty nice.

So from today I am going to try more concertedly to believe in myself as an artist. As a poet. To not be in denial about who I am.

And as part of this acknowledgement of myself and this achievement, here is my brand new SoundCloud page (that I ironically created this morning), where I will be posting my work.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

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New 30 day challenge- Self publishing my poetry

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On the 27th of November 2017 I received a tantalising email in my inbox. Seductively entitled ‘How to change your life in 30 days’, I eagerly clicked through and read this article https://medium.com/personal-growth/this-30-day-challenge-will-transform-your-identity-and-explode-your-success-813a76427652

The article explored how we can change our lives by recognising that we plateau due to, or during achieving our goals. This process can include trying to achieve our goals if we have not yet achieved it  and being ‘approach orientated’ and willing to take risks. Or if we are seeking to maintain what we have achieved that we become ‘avoid orientated’.

All interesting stuff, but what really hooked me was the idea of doing a 30 day challenge which forced me to challenge my fears by choosing a new behaviour to achieve something that I have not. My instant thought was ‘ having a boyfriend, but surely this challenge can’t help with that’. WRONG. As I scrolled down through the page, this line jumped out at me ‘It could be facing an extreme fear: like 30 days of asking people on dates.’ Oh shit.

This idea totally freaked me out but part of me wanted to do it. Face all my fears, go on dates and hopefully meet The One.  After all, doing this challenge would definitely be ‘something that would clearly lead you to a place you’d like to be’.

However, the universe had other plans.

I am currently taking part in a coaching programme called ‘Claim your Power’. After thinking about doing a 30 day dating challenge, I did a meditation as part of the programme. This brought up a lot of emotions and reminded me that part of doing this programme involved a cleanse which also had a ban on sex/dating in order to focus on yourself. Also as part of this course I have learnt that my life purpose is ‘to be full of wonder about my myself and my higher power and feel acknowledgement and connection that results from this, while inspiring others to do the same’. 

So I got to thinking, what could I do to feel that sense of wonder about myself AND commit to a 30 day challenge?

The answer: self publish a book of my poetry.

I have recently joined Instagram and follow lots of published poets, some of whom sell bits of their poetry typed up. Fair play to them. But this is not about competing with them. Its about me and what I can achieve. So I did some research and read the excellent article https://jamesaltucher.com/2013/07/how-to-self-publish-bestseller/.  I then got to planning.

30daysofpublishing

Above is the list of tasks that I need to do and the first thing that came to mind and that genuinely excited me was to contact an artist for the book cover. So I contacted the talented Tom Berry ( http://tomberryart.co.uk/) whose intricate and whimsical art I love, and he has agreed to do the cover illustration. However, the whole book cover needs to be designed so I contacted my old friend and very talented artistic friend Georgina ( https://www.instagram.com/muse_me_art/) and she has agreed to do the book cover design. All very exciting!

I started digging through my old writings to see if there was anything that I would like to include; typed up poems languishing in old notebooks and still am doing so; approached people for advice about editing the collecting and got a huge amount of practical advice from the accomplished musician Fran Wyburn (http://www.franwyburn.com/). Her advice will help with both my marketing strategy and potentially recording an audio book.

Is this all plain sailing? Quite frankly, not always.

As the article about the challenge identified:

Will you have to deal with some negative emotions along the way?

Will you face a load of resistance and fear?

Will you want to quit?

The answer is probably yes to all of those questions.

But THIS is how you separate yourself from the masses.

I freaked about whether my poems were good enough to publish. I freaked out a bit more when more than one person identified that I would need to perform more poetry to people. My fears about not being good enough basically surfaced. I am aware I will need to put myself out there in poetry circles a bit more. In time I will do this. In the meanwhile, I am focusing on doing something everyday until the 28th Dec 2017 to achieve my new goal.

I want to share this journey with you in the hopes that you will be inspired to do something too; that you will encourage me on the way and so that I can connect with you.

Thank you for reading so far!

 

#100happydays Days 36-42

Day 36 Amazing sunset

Day 37 Hanging out with my old friend Mynn, feeling young and eating this.

Day 38 Getting this picture of me and my niece 💓💓💓

Day 39 Going to this talk and learning new things.

Day 40 Seeing this quote by one of my favourite, inspirational black women- Mae Jamison, the first black female astronaut!

Day 41 double whammy

Seeing my old friend Adam after 10+ years AND swinging on the swings with these two gems at the Tate Modern.

Day 42

Getting this lovely surprise package.