New Year’s Eve: Resolution Time

I had a mini-meltdown last night after a syncing error deleted five notes and I could only remember two. However, I knew the most important one was the one about my goals – a refreshment from my five year plan, which I created back in 2012.

I achieved some of the things on it, such as getting published by Nasty Little Press, and performing at festivals like Latitude and Bestival. However, I have to say that working in the job I’ve been in the past three and a half years has kept me from achieving some of the things I might have done had I worked on a more part-time basis. Arguably, I could have made better use of holidays, but you can’t be productive all the time, and relationships need nurturing, holidays need to be had.

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I’ve made a detailed plan for what I want to achieve in the first half of the year:

  • Save £2,000 more
  • Start learning Spanish regularly (Duo Lingo, Rosetta Stone, Hive Meetings)
  • Volunteer to teach English at work and outside of work
  • Roundhouse project
  • Writing: more poems, novel and show
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in 2017

In August/September I hope to apply for jobs in Spain. Some may argue that I should just keep plodding on, maybe ask to go part time, find a more suitable job in the creative industries, or just jump right in and go freelance. However, I’m still relatively young and have friends who have done similar things, or are doing similar things. I’ve always tried to push myself out of my comfort zone, and if I land somewhere like Madrid, maybe I could end up making my poetry more global. I may move more slowly than others, but that’s okay. In some ways the things I want to do go against my nature, but more than anything I need to enjoy the journey, appreciate the present and manage to keep the future in mind without that being my focus.

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I am a creature of habit, but new habits can be made and old ones can be broken. I’m thinking that my priorities for 2016 will look a little something like this (aside from the day job):

  1. Reading and writing
  2. Volunteer work (running clubs, EFL/EAL teaching)
  3. Physical and mental health
  4. Learn Spanish
  5. Performing/recording new poems

So, a Happy New Year to all!

I plan to have a quiet one with my boyfriend Matt, having a take-away and walking to a quiet patch to maybe have a drink on a picnic blanket if the weather is nice. I’ve also booked us tickets for ‘Christmas at Kew’ on New Year’s Day!

New Year; Same You, But With Added Shine, A Slicker Rhyme…

A belated happy new year!  I have just handed in my coursework today and have lots of news to share.  Christmas, by the way, was wonderful – the best ever!  Here’s me celebrating family-style with some of my new clothes (Primari aka Primark).

The first news story is a sad one.  I write this blog for my website but I also post it in other places, and one of these places, Inked-In, is closing down because some company is taking over and wants all the rights to the content.  Totally out of order.  Not happy.  I’ll probably stop writing on there now because I want to have the rights to my content thanks.

Anyway, onward and upward!  I have found an amazing function on Excel that means I don’t have to use this Smartsheet thing I was using that ended up being a free trial and asked me to pay for it.  As if.  So yeah, genius that I am, I figured out you can sort a to-do list on Excel; my list is sorted by the ‘status’ (i.e. whether it’s been started or is complete) then by the due date, and then by a daily ordering system, should I need to do work on something that has a due date way in the future.  It’s not a waste of time either, as I have now completed 44 tasks, and started it maybe a couple of months ago.

For new years eve, Matt and I popped round to my friend Jo’s house for a bit because she now lives about 20 minutes walk away from me!  She used to live in Hammersmith so it’s great she’s so close now.  It took us a bit longer as I took a wrong turn, but good to know for future reference as last time my mum was my taxi.  Jo had fireworks and it was a bit scary but also very pretty and overall, amazing.

Matt and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary on January 2nd at Los Amigos and it was delish.  We also saw a ‘Havana Club’ sign which was cool because we met at a club in Norwich called Havana (now called Kartel).  It was a bit quiet but we had a lovely time.

On that note, I’ll say a little about new years resolutions.  Now, I’m the kind of person that’s always trying to self-improve… a kind of perfectionist, I guess.  So, new years resolutions are something I try to do at various points in the year anyway. That said, my main aims for 2012 are as follows:

– Read more poetry.  Well, read only poetry, aside from non-fiction books used for study, and the occasional fiction book for if I want a break from just poetry.
– Resume my exercise routine.  Try to go to the gym 1 or 2 times a week, and do at least 15 minutes of exercise in the morning before breakfast.
– Keep up a regular beauty regime.  Cleanse, tone, (exfoliate), moisturize.
– The last two points means I need to get early nights.  And wake up early-ish.  If I don’tget enough sleep I get lazy.

And now, for some poetry news.  Firstly, I wanted to say how great it is that Dean Atta has shot to fame, so to speak, after posting ‘I Am Nobody’s Nigger’ online.  As I stated on Twitter, I guess I’ve been “deeply immersed in the world of spoken word,” (quoting The Guardian) because I remember Atta being a regular name since I started out in around 2006.

Not wanting to draw too many comparisons, but, I had previously read Carol Ann Duffy’s Stephen Lawrence tribute poem and been disappointed.  I actually began to have a go myself but am yet to finish it.  I just found her poem too obvious, and lacking emotionally.  And it is a great shame because I have enjoyed Duffy’s work since my GCSEs (though I was disappointed at her reading at the AQA Anthology show).

In terms of my poetry news… I’ve been shortlisted for a £1000 fund on IdeasTap.  My idea may be more suited to another IdeasTap fund I’ve applied for since, and I feel unlikely too get the one I’ve been shortlisted for as it’s quite a long shortlist!  I’ve also been accepted to be a Peer Mentor for Shake the Dust for the Eastern region.  It’ll be really great to give younger poets advice and support, and take part in the regional finals – and I’d love to be a judge!  I probably should have mentioned my judging experience with Scroobius Pip!  It’ll no doubt be a great experience anyway.  I may not have been accepted as a Poet Shadow, but I’ve got the next best thing.  I’ve also applied for the Charles Pick Fellowship at UEA, starting in October.  Thinking about the prospect of being accepted for that excites me too much!  Wish me luck on my endeavours!

xxx