Tag Archives: writing schedules

Slipping on the Poetry Skin – A Day of Writing


At last, a writing day, slipping on my poetry skin! piles_of_books-red

Work is always slow to pick up at the beginning of the term and my PPA Music job was cancelled (an hour or so before I was due to start on Tuesday). This could be a blessing in disguise for many reasons, but I found it rather irritating as the garage really needed to keep my car and check the rear brakes and it would have been ready for 1pm. I collected it Monday night instead as I needed it sooner for work!

Basically if my car had started (had to replace battery) on Monday, then I would have worked all day, it would have created about 3 hours writing time, which I actually spent visiting relatives, shopping and delivering a thank you parcel to my neighbour who had helped me with my car.

Tuesday by the time I found work was cancelled I was already into a scheduled day full of tasks and things that had to be done before Midday. I fancied the idea of writing but that is not what happened. I had to tutor and go straight to the Poetry Lounge in Ludlow, so the spare hour or so before this was spent sorting my set as I was one of the Guest poets.

Wednesday rolled around- I was still up in the small hours, pumped with adrenalin after a night in Ludlow, I even watched a film?! So in the morning I woke early, ‘on call’ and knew I needed more sleep… which I managed, waking up to the phone sometime after 10 a.m – finally the office called with work. So the writing I’d decided to do got shelved as I had less than 2 hours from bed to car to work. An hour to get up and an hour to route find and Streetview, really need to get my SATNAV working!

Maybe I would write in the evening. Well, I won’t go into too much detail, the work was fine, lovely in fact… the lanes were unmarked and I needed a helicopter to find the village. It was already a 40mile round trip. I spent an extra hour driving around, up and down the same 5 mile stretch trying to find my turn. In the end after maps, calls and phone apps. I did the terribly old fashioned thing of parking up and popping into the Post Office (I was in a neighbouring village, according to all the gadgetry about 1.8 miles away)! Instructions were clear and simple, 3 right turns and I was there.

Fortunately I arrived in time but flustered after an hour and a half in the car. I got home in 40 minutes but was so tired I just needed the settee and TV. I had a bite to eat and fell asleep. Waking up shortly before 11pm.

When I finally went to bed in the early hours, I prayed I wouldn’t get a work call. Prayers answered, I’ve started on the chores and written a list of writing tasks and things to do before tutoring later and then I am off out to perform at the New Year SpeakEasy.

I had planned to just go and watch, catch up with friends after missing the Christmas event due to ill health, then I got an email asking to perform, which I am more than happy to do, so no night off for me!

Last year I was far more disciplined and organised about the writing time. I feel an analogy coming on; Last year I was like an Olympic swimmer in training, early mornings, hours in training, fitting the pool (writing) into every spare minute.

Whereas 2015 sees me turning up at the Gym by late morning, having a relax in the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, before walking down steps into the shallow end and gently gliding off with a breast stroke (or maybe a hotel pool with an inflatable and a cocktail). It is meant to be this way, for a few weeks at least.

I am working on submissions this morning, catching up with emails, contacting all the poets in my team for next week’s Mouth and Music Spark Off, finally emailing some much needed poetry to some very important people, submitting workshop poems for publication on websites and taking up a very kind offer from a poet I greatly admire to make one of my poems shine!

I am also writing some new material, seeking out opportunities and checking bits of pre-Christmas admin as well as organising a poem for Stanza (tomorrow) and desperately trying to write my New Year Message post (before mid-January arrives)!

Better get some coffee and get on it!


Happy Writing

Dropping Down A Gear


As with all things in life, relentless attack is not a level human beings can function on 24/7, 12 months a year. I have found myself passing to the inside lane and slowing down, letting writing opportunities (which were scheduled to pass) and deadlines to fizz out without my name attached to anything.

Last year I took August off – this year I worked hard throughout the Summer – maybe it is natural to need a break, a point to look out and evaluate. I know what I am trying to achieve, the direction I am being pulled in, my 2014 plan and what I need to do to realise all of the above. I also need time. Switch off, pull away, me time.

I have been doing a lot of reading (which is never a bad thing) and I just celebrated ‘One Year A Poet’ with poetry friends. I have been busy writing poetry and planning INKSPILL – our online writing retreat (Oct 25/26th).

Allow yourself permission to slow down… take your foot off the pedal, it is the only way forward sometimes. You are no good to anyone, especially yourself if you are worked to the bone.

morningTake time, it is a gift, be wise with it. Treat it like GOLD and it will bear fruit of your labour, spend some of the time not watching the clock too!

I have plenty of bookings in the diary until November and even some of these I will give deep thought to, after October I may take November as a stride not a sprint and fortunately for me, the world of performance poetry takes a break over December.

I need energy back for the things I want to write, do, achieve. People on the circuit know only too well the delicate balance between writing and taking your work out on the road. It may be time to spread my wings a little further in 2015 and I have also met people this year who have proved how much can be done online, as far as seeking opportunities and coverage.

I have no regrets but I want to keep it that way. I didn’t give up a paid 80hr a week job to be in the same position minus the money. So for my own health and sanity, I need to drop down a gear.

I will attempt to keep up to date with the blog though because I think the posts hold more passion if they are HOT, HOT off the press!

TTP ideas Keep writing & listen to your heart… let it lead you to the place of dreams! x

Getting Organised, Being Sensible, Pub Theatre & Loving Life


The beginning of a new month makes me stop (well okay… pause) and inhale with a new list of goals and writing deadlines, performances and sets to plan, it always feels like I can take on the world at the beginning of the month. Having said that I am supposed to be going to watch a performance of Pub Hamlet by Fortitude Theatre at the Old Stock Joint and Pub & Theatre – which has a wonderful performance space/club room at the top.


Imagine having a pint with Hamlet. Would you fall for his vulnerable brooding? Would you offer some coherent practical advice to quell his indecision? Or would you just tell him to cheer the F up and grow a pair? New company Fortitude Theatre make their debut with this hilariously witty modern take on ‘The Dane’. Starring Leon Priestnall and Lorna Meehan. Written by Lorna Meehan. Directed by Zak Marsh.
Comedy Night at OJS is compared by Aaron Twitchen. Headline Act: Will Franken.
It’s FREE, however the capacity is limited so get there early to avoid disappointment.

If you are in Birmingham or at a loose end… GO! It is sure to be brilliant.

I am just too tired after a weekend of hitting submission deadlines, 2 nights performing at Worcester Music Festival and with a drive to Ludlow in the week and another one to Stafford, as well as the possibility of work starting this week, I am trying to be sensible (which is most out of character).

Today so far I have reviewed August here on the blog and sent business emails. I have to collate my expenses for the Writing West Midlands Assistant Writer job, the new term kicks in in a fortnight and there are new and exciting developments there too. I will blog about that when I am allowed to (confidentiality and all that)!

I have a long list of opportunities to get written/scheduled up in my already full writing diary, I have 2 sets of poetry to practise for performances this week, about 5 things to research and some tickets to book *BLF* Birmingham Literature Festival, just around the corner in October.

blf logo

I AM LOVING the fact that term started today and I am NOT yet back at school – so far this year on my -to pay the mortgage mission- I have a regular half day each week, hoping, like last year there will be some other schools that opt to have regular supply, until then I will write whilst waiting for the phone to ring. I managed to survive the summer with no income but now need to build the savings pool back up, plus I have my younger brother’s wedding and Christmas to think about!

LOVING today though – a full on writing day – a stop and have a coffee day – a ‘I made the RIGHT decision day’ – a thank God I jumped the leap of faith day…


Sudden Realisation


My first dip, not bad three months into the year. I have started re-reading books on the craft of writing that I haven’t read for over a decade. I went to bed last night and fell asleep just before I became depressed at the sudden realisation that I cannot do it all.

Last month I realised the importance of having a writing schedule. My March table is already looking very full. I had hoped with a little organisation and a determined attitude I would be able to meet all deadlines without the stress of the final week of February. I am half way through writing a short story which was due for submission today, I just don’t have a full enough idea for the twist, I don’t know the characters well enough and I realised that I had to make a choice.

Do I carry on writing the story and send it anyway on a wing and a prayer?


Do I work on the characters, discover the twist, see the full picture, write it over time and use it for a submission later in the year?

I have woken up and decided on the latter. It is frustrating especially as I have known about this competition for years, have journals filled with other entries from previous years that I didn’t submit and 2013 is not any different. Next year I WILL ENTER IT! I WILL DO IT! I need to build up my skills as a story writer again, have time to edit and proof. I need to breathe life into my characters.

I have decided to make a proposal for a book commision and have a lot of work and research to do this week to enable me to produce the best proposal that I can. I need to focus on that and let other opportunities slip past, that’s hard for a writer, right?

My sudden realisation is I cannot do it all, we (Mr G. and I) are currently very busy moving forward, (disclosing details later) with work and everything else I feel like one of those stretchy toys and I am pulled to full capacity.

Have you experienced this? Is anybody able to submit everything they want to?

I guess, like all things in life, choices need to made… I just hope I make the right ones!