Hats off to anyone who managed an end-of-year post, or any kind of post, in the last few weeks. Hats off to anyone who managed anything this year, or last year. I feel that to have come through the past two years in more or less one piece has been an achievement. I’m counting it as one of mine. I wish I could give you a long list of publications and accomplishments, I wish I could say I had a book on the horizon or an exciting project in the pipeline. To be honest, I’m simply grateful that I’ve continued to write, that I’ve been in a position to be able to continue to write, without worrying about my health or my income. I love the quote by Kim Addonizio which I read on Robin Houghton’s blog in answer to the question ‘What are you working on?’ she gave the reply ‘I’m just trying to write the next poem.’ That has definitely been my motto and adage for the past year, perhaps it will be my motto from here on in.
I have continued to write and a few poems have been accepted by magazines – I’m keeping track of everything on this page. But I wish there were more. I sometimes indulge in a daydream about making a big announcement, even though those kinds of pleasures are generally short-lived. There are other submissions and projects I’ve completed in the past two years which have come to nothing, and I’m still working on some longer form writing – prose and scripts. Increasingly, I feel a need to try to explore other genres of writing, and, increasingly, especially in the past two years, poetry has seemed less interesting to me, less thrilling. I wonder if this is because I haven’t seen/heard any ‘live’ poetry, other than on Zoom? Another thing that has taken the shine off poetry for me has been some petty, incredibly dull poetry tiffs on social media. More fool me for allowing myself to watch the silly arguments unfold. A reminder to put my phone down more often, to scroll less.
In spite of this, I’m starting this year feeling more optimistic than last year. Perhaps misguidedly. It’s not as if there’s a safe pair of hands in charge in the UK. But there are signs that the covid virus might be becoming less dangerous, which is something to feel hopeful about, even though we are still far from being in the all clear. On top of this, I have my own creative projects ticking away, and time to work on them, and my husband, Andrew, and our two grown-up children are well, we’ve navigated our way through the past two years and we’re still talking to each other and supporting each other’s plans. I’m so glad we’ve all been here for each other, at the end of a phone, if not always in person.
So, that’s my situation. Nothing excessively exciting to report but still here. Happy New Year to you and yours.