Freelance Reflections #73

I’ve been feeling weirdly detached from my anxiety, which has pros and cons, but whilst confusing, it has maybe allowed me to re-direct my energy away from things I feel anxious about. Whilst anxiety propels me into action (when others were impressed by my organisation at work, I said ‘fuelled by anxiety!) sometimes action isn’t what is needed. I did have a few nights kept up by the moon, applying to do everything from the Saturday job at WHSmiths to random writing jobs on Upwork. But mostly, I tried to tell myself that it would work out, that I know there are ups and downs with the work, there’s just the extra pressure of uncertainty with paying my course fees, coupled with uncertainty about my living situation. I have accepted an hour tutoring for £12 below my usual rate with an hour’s travel each way on a Friday, but I figured, I can do some reading on the commute and it’ll only be 6-12 weeks. I also have one new student starting on a Wednesday (thus sacrificing my Red Sky Sessions…) and got a call about 4 new students from elsewhere. I’ve accepted that I’ll be working on a Saturday, and £80 for two hours makes more sense than £80 for 8 hours at WHSmith.

I’m really enjoying my Art Therapy training! I was going to the exhibition in Lewisham Shopping Centre, ‘Where to, Now All the Sequins Have Gone?’ (also home now to The Migration Museum, which is well worth a visit!) I completed half of an assignment to observe and reflect on some artwork, and on Sunday did another observation task at the Horniman Gardens. I’m still finding my feet in terms of organising things, having got a notebook with dividers, but then divided my notes in the wrong areas… but for now, I want to try to have gratitude and be present, letting go of what I can’t control, and trying to improve and grow in the ways I can. One thing that is challenging at the moment is how doing work on yourself, attending therapy, doing this kind of course… can mean that it’s harder to communicate with others around you who seem less willing to reflect in the same way, or who don’t use verbal communication as much… which is actually very apt for the challenges I’ll be coming up against in this course.

Freelance Reflections #35

One of the perks of being self-employed is that sometimes it’s possible to change around your schedule. Why might you want to do this? In the middle of a national lockdown that feels like all there really is to do is work, when it hits 20-degrees, that’s the reason.

I worked all Sunday, with my eyes to the weather forecast, and met the necessary deadlines. If anything, I wish I had made the most of that sunny Tuesday even more. I did some work until around midday, then headed out to Brockwell Park to read and sunbathe, after having been there for a sunset stroll the night before, and a morning jog. My partner has a balcony, so after lunch there, I continued reading and eating ice-cream until I needed to leave for work.

The next day, I expected at least another couple of hours of sun, but sadly it was more of a grey day. Still, I went for a read and walk in Dulwich Park, and did a little skateboarding too. I also have a lot of the next couple of weeks to catch up with stuff, and begin to put into action some of the writing and studying routines I want to implement into my daily structure.

I attended the first Zoom workshop for the ‘Red Sky Sessions’ by Apples & Snakes, with Bohdan Piasecki, featuring Malika Booker. She spoke a lot about writing routines, so I really have no excuse to not get started this week. Although Bohdan did also say that my diary writing is a valid form of writing!

I also have some good news about a project that I’ve been accepted onto, which feels really great but I’m unsure if I can reveal the details right now. It’ll involve creating and workshopping new material for a show in the summer months, likely at an outdoor venue.

I’ve also managed to memorise the poem I am recording next week, so I just need to keep going over it to really ingrain it into my mind. I don’t find memorising poetry easy (even when it rhymes, as in this case), but it’s something I want to do more, and really requires daily practice to do. At least, for me, like Malika Booker was saying, having such routines means I actually do it, whilst it’s when I slip out of the routine, or at least that intention, that the danger can be to just NEVER get anything done.

Today, I’ve managed to do the work I wanted to do, and will be exploring a new park for a walk, as well as seeing some family outdoors this weekend, despite the disappointing weather. Next week, I’ll be catching up on emails and my many open tabs, as well as making sure to carve out some time for writing projects, whether that be editing or writing.

Tonight is also the next She Grrrowls Instagram Live show. So far, only one person has signed up, which is my fault for putting the word out too late, but hopefully more messages about signing up with come in today. Either way, the show must go on, and I will be back from my walk in good time to get going with it! I did my Instagram Live ‘Poetry Slumber Party’ on Monday, and if anything, it’s funny seeing my face as I get interrupted by my partner accidentally speaking aloud whilst playing a game, and by a knock at the door!