I have finished my degree! I have the (good) mark for my final assignment, the poetry pamphlet Paper Islands, and I have a launch planned: next Saturday (17th June) 3-5 pm at ACEarts in Somerton (that’s in Somerset, UK, for my overseas readers). Do come if you can. I’ll be doing a reading and providing refreshments.
It’s also a sort of birthday celebration, but I don’t want any presents please. You can buy the pamphlet for a fiver, if you’d like to, or make a donation to ACEarts charity.
As usual, I’ve been avoiding sending my work out into the world, although I did manage a five minute reading on our local radio station, gfm, and I have read from it at some poetry evenings.
Why am I so reluctant to submit at the moment? I know I tend to do it in waves, but it’s almost as if I’ve deliberately prevented myself from getting any of this new work into quality print magazines by self-publishing.
I can only put it down to my inner child again. The stubborn, contrary, autistic little girl who WON’T do what everyone else does because she can’t see the point of it, or she’s scared to expose herself to ridicule or envy.
I used to hate her. I used to be ashamed. I spent years hiding who I really was, trying to fit in. It was so painful getting things wrong and being excluded or laughed at, being accused of things I didn’t do or feel. Years of frustration trying to work out where I was going wrong, why no-one understood me, endless misinterpretation.
I learnt to keep my mouth shut for fear of blurting out the wrong thing – something I thought was funny but which went down like a lead brick, or an utterly inappropriate interjection. I learnt to appear nonchalant in the face of my social anxiety, so as not to be bullied. Later I discovered people thought I was cold and aloof.
Reading and writing was my Special Power, my escape, my window to understanding, and it still is.
Eventually I realised that this little girl was the source of my creativity. That she needed me to mother her gently, not shout and criticise. (Ow – here come the tears.) So now I allow her time to play, and time to retreat into her own world whenever she needs it, and I’ve learnt not to criticise myself so harshly.
Time to celebrate. I have achieved something. I am inviting friends to share it. I know, now, that I always get there in the end, although some things take me longer.
Everything that needs to be done, gets done. If it doesn’t get done, it probably doesn’t matter. I am OK.
Thank you for reading.