A few bits and pieces I would like to share with you.
First of all, Ghost City Press every summer – since 2016? have published a series of chapbooks by a variety of writers that are completely free, with the option to donate however much you like to the author, and all you need to do is signup here and they will send a chap directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. It is from now until September. It’s a great way to find new writers to read.
Post Ghost press have stocked up their Etsy shop with new stickers and zines. I haven’t purchased anything from them yet, but I do like what I see and I will have to buy from them ASAP.
One of my favourite publishers Fly on the Wall Press have now put up their new magazine issue for pre-order. The theme of this issue is food (yum) and they have been putting on their YouTube – videos of the writers performing their work. I am super excited to announce my poem Dinner is in this issue. It’s a poem about sieves and bubbles. Get pre-ordering here.
I like to kid on I’m organised. I’m actually not – my Dropbox is a mess, my notes on my phone are filled with ideas I keep telling myself to write on paper, my laptop has duplicated every single file so it’s a trip finding which Word doc. I am working on and my to do list is seemingly even longer by the time I get to Friday than it was on Sunday evening.
I become overwhelmed very quickly and procrastination sets in. My need for perfectionism gets me into a funk as well. When I am feeling depressed, the least I feel like doing is getting organised before I can even get to a project I am working on. It’s like my cleaning mantra, if I stuff everything into a cupboard it’s there, it’s fine, it’s out of sight. When in reality it has made a mountain out of a molehill.
I started using Microsoft’s To Do app a few weeks ago and it’s been a useful tool. As long as I don’t look at how much I need to do and focus on one task, I’m good. How easy is it to not look at all the tasks and flip the fuck out? Not very easy. I have split my tasks into categories of my writing, my freelance writing, my blog, social media posts – and that’s a lot.
My problem is I want it all and I want it now. That is, of course, detrimental to the quality of the work I am producing. I am trying to learn it’s good to brainstorm, plan, edit, and make something the best it can be. There is no rush or timeline. I must remember to enjoy what I am doing and slow the fuck down.
I think as well not being very confident I churn out all sorts, so I can get that kick from producing and feeling I’m doing something. Giving that appearance of being busy. I do think as a once ‘good girl’ my worth is tied into grades – into results and with depression, people always thought it was laziness. That’s what people thought I was. Lazy Kate. I put myself under so much pressure when I was 17/18. It was stressful. As hard as I tried, people still didn’t like what I was doing, or not doing in their eyes. I couldn’t change their perception of me. It made me deny I was depressed. I thought I was lazy. I thought it was my fault. This is me being a lazy bitch and it’s not illness, it’s laziness. That fucked me up for years. It’s amazing on the outside what mental illness ’looks like’ to people. I was a typical teenager – ‘difficult’ ‘insolent’ ‘lazy’ I was fucking depressed. I walked around, feeling like shit and hating everyone, the world, myself. The majority of my classmates and teachers took the mickey. I’m sure it must have been hilarious on the outside looking in. A socially isolated, struggling with puberty, and depression, self-harming young girl who was desperately looking for a connection and understanding. She never got it, so she ended up in a toxic relationship that nearly killed her.
That’s enough for now. Thanks for reading. Let me know how you get organised. Also how are you finding this new editor?
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As you probably know, June is Pride Month. Sadly, the pandemic is making it impossible to have in person celebrations. But of course we can still celebrate and share our pride online!
Last year, my friends Hâf @ The Library Looter, Michelle @ Michelle Likes Things and I hosted #PrideLibrary19, a challenge with prompts for every day of the month. I’m so excited to announce that we’re back with another Pride challenge: #PrideLibrary20. We hope you’ll join us again, for as few or as many days as you want!
How to participate?
You can participate on Instagram by taking pictures that suit the following prompts and then posting them on the set days using #PrideLibrary20. We’re hosting a giveaway along with the Instagram challenge as well, more info below!
You can also participate on your blog! To do so, you can write a…
I found myself nervous writing reviews for collections of poetry. I must give that context, in terms of my depression and where my confidence is. I found myself reading other people’s reviews and they were like works of art. They could be describing the book in a couple of sentences, saying what they think and making it sound compulsory to read that poetry collection. I mean, I can get in a real funk with my need for perfectionism. It makes me procrastinate and urgh, give up sometimes. Because how on earth do you reach perfectionism? I forget I pretty much write reviews for myself to begin with, to get my thoughts down, to discuss and ask questions. Most of the inspiration felt in reading poetry collections usually prompts my own poetry. I find it easier to be afraid people will tell me I’m wrong about my opinion in a review, than in my writing because I’ll tell them to piss off. Poetry can take up any form and it’s subjective. Not everyone will like what you write. It’s the same with why I gave up writing fiction. If I stray from poem form, I feel uncertain. I think I’m not a fiction writer. When you can learn to be. It isn’t easy. But I can learn about those things I struggle with, like structuring chapters, the story arc and all those other bits with fancy names. Then maybe I can finish that story, which has been 13 years in the making.
This only comes from myself, by the way. I don’t have terrible memories of people criticising my reviews, or my stories. I can remember people not being keen to read my writing. Obviously, I remember teachers at school trying to teach me about putting paragraphs into my writing and how capital letters were important. But I was privileged that I got a lot of what they taught me, I loved reading fact books and encyclopaedia’s, enjoyed spelling tests and treated times tables as if they were Brussel Sprouts and I have always had ideas. My imagination has always been active. In secondary school writing became my outlet for being socially inept, so thankfully I did have my primary school education. Writing is instinctive.
Split into 2 chapters – the EP & the LP, Alicia Cook takes us through a landscape of joy, pain and triumph in I Hope my Voice Doesn’t Skip. The subjects were varied – from family and home, to nostalgia, love and world events. There were poems with grief as a subject, which made me reflect on my own losses. Some of the poems on love, of first love – such as Traffic, Signs gave me feels. There are small details that characterise the writing – mentions of straw wrappers, squid ink and saltwater. The second part features writers, Christina Hart and J. R. Rouge, for example. There were some very assured poems in this part of the book. There were a couple of poems I didn’t like, and I would expect that. This was the first book I had read by Alicia Cook and it won’t be the last. I found her poems were compelling, uplifting – they gave me strength and I’m sure if I read this book again I would find something new to like.