Freelance Reflections #79

The previous post didn’t publish last week, so I’m now writing in advance as I’m on the train and having just written my diary, and having scheduled this, I’m feeling reflective, so going to go with it.

I’m reflecting on my use of social media, and drawing a comparison between Twitter and Diaryland. I don’t think either platform encourages the healthiest behaviour from me. It’s too exposing in some ways. I post spontaneously, rather than the more thoughtful posts on Instagram and TikTok. Facebook seems to be going the way of MySpace and I struggle with the temporality of it all, but I also can’t keep up.

I’m wondering whether it would be possible to change my name when doing Art Therapy, but it looks like I can’t officially. Whilst I can use a “nickname”, and perhaps use a different name on referrals when working with the NHS or different organisations, I need to register with my official name, which then will make it more difficult for me to be found on the register, as that will need to state my official name.

Anyway, aside from this, I’ve had some devastating news. I didn’t get the scholarship for my training, and as I’m ineligible for a student loan, I’m going to try to appeal in some way for an exemption. I’m going to have to work as much as possible, taking away time from the course where I need to study as much as possible, and anything else in my life will have to be kept to the minimum and as cheap as possible. I had dreams of buying books to share with my course-mates, and volunteering at the local hospice… the latter will be difficult now as I need to prioritise paid work.

Things are on the edge of becoming desperate, so please please donate to and share my crowdfund.

Freelance Reflections #36

Last week’s She Grrrowls wasn’t as smooth as usual, but it was nice to see both the poets involved sharing poems, as well as audience members. I made a point of not bringing my laptop away when visiting family in Hastings for a picnic, but ended up writing a draft of a book review for The Norwich Radical on the journey on my phone!

I still worked on Bank Holiday Monday, but on Tuesday I got to use my wetsuit and booties for the first time in the 9-10 degree pool in Brockwell Park. It was so freezing, and strangely difficult to swim more than two lengths at a time. I’d never been in such cold water to my mind.

With less of some work, I’ve been trying to get on top of boring admin tasks, but also been writing a lot more and catching up with NaPoWriMo prompts, as well as attending the amazing Apples and Snakes’ Red Sky Sessions with Bohdan Piasecki, which have so far included Malika Booker and Jacob Sam-La Rose, two absolute poetry heroes.

I found out today that after being longlisted for Butcher’s Dog, I didn’t make the cut, which I’m gutted about. I never expect to be accepted when submitting poems, so to get so close makes it extra disappointing somehow. Then again, it is also all the more reason to try again in future.

To end on a positive note, successfully recorded two poems with Muddy Feet Poetry on Thursday outdoors in Deptford. I had learnt one by heart, and was super nervous, but Pete and Stanley were so lovely and supportive throughout, I felt really happy afterwards.

The main poem we recorded is also part of Free Spirits: Loss in Lockdown, by Jo Sharpe and poet Rachel Sambrooks. There will be a free exhibition at Studio 9 Oaks Park Studios in Carshalton on the 17th and 24th April, which you can register for online on Eventbrite.

It’s a strange experience writing about something like grief and putting it out into the world; sometimes I feel like artists get it because we all do it, but maybe it’s a bit odd to other people, but it is all part of how we process the world and how we connect.