So, I’ve come full circle with this sharing my work thing. As any fellow poet will know, there’s a trend among the poetry circles for any kind of publication to stipulate that your work must not have been shared anywhere previously (including your own personal media accounts) in order for them to consider it for submission. Well, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can’t claim to be ‘finding my own authentic voice’ if I am going to allow others to speak it for me. So here I am back again. And excited by the prospect of continuing my project of photography and poetry pairings.
So what brought about the change? One very inspirational writer called Jolie Booth (author of The Girl Who’ll Rule the World – available on Amazon.)On Saturday I was lucky enough to have randomly booked myself on her Psychedelic Wandering tour of Brighton. This actually had nothing explicitly to do with her book. However, having been totally drawn into the world she created, around a story pieced together from letters and diaries found in a squat she inhabited in Brighton, I had come to admire her creativity and spark by the end of the two hour experience (described as part theatre, part walking tour, part pub-crawl.) At the end of the tour, Jolie mentioned that she was off to the Dorchester for a drink and if anyone wanted to join her they were welcome. It was here that I learned of her book, her stance and journey as a writer and her dogged determination. She was living proof of the modern maxim that self-publishing AND an eventual publishing deal don’t have to be mutually exclusive and her advice to ‘Just write for yourself and love what you do. Never write to be published’ really struck home.
It made me realise that I had been keeping my poetry imprisoned because of a set of rules imposed by people I didn’t even particularly care to impress – and it meant nobody had seen my work for far too long.
So, as so often is the case in this life – a totally random decision, to go on a totally random adventure somehow ended with a little nod from the universe. I believe those that watch you and have your best interests at heart will always find a way to get their message across. Eventually. In this case my messenger was a charismatic and courageous woman I met totally by chance and as she guided me on a two- hour journey around the counter-cultural ghost-haunts of Brighton, I already felt it was only the first step on a far greater voyage.
And so here is the second step.
Look out – I’m back. And I reclaim my authentic voice once more.