Exploring further the weekly routines that give shape to my week and help lift me out of down cycles.
Started a weekly walk after therapy and trying out walking in the mornings around 10am, after an hour of writing (8 am) and an hour of working on external projects or admin (9 am).
I’ve been listening to music more too, which helps my mood a lot.
I joined a Queer Botany Society and met some folks. Was so great. I love nerding out about plants. And I’ve been wanting to connect with more botany enthusiasts for a while. Hooray!
Signed up for a botany quiz – might even have a team for it too…
Wandering around the internet I enjoyed revisiting this virtual exhibition of drawings of oak trees via a link in a newsletter from Obscure Wonders.
Looking forward to this Botany Conference this coming week and Black Botanists Week the following week.
Restarted learning about permaculture with a free introductory course by Permaculture Education I got access to in September 2020, as well as with a webinar this week: The Ancient Roots of Regenerative Agriculture by Commune.
Looking to learn more about Vegan Permaculture specifically too.
I wrote for around 12 hours this week on my own stuff, which I’m really pleased about.
Mostly that was writing, rewriting and editing bird poetry; sifting through writing from workshops I’ve participated in; and writing a short story in a cli-fi workshop (sci-fi, but climate-oriented, and more towards hope than despair).
Reflecting on my process & what I need for my practice
I’m such an ambivert when it comes to writing.
I need alone time. Space. Silence. Solitude! If I don’t get it, I can’t write.
I need people, input, ideas, inspiration: Writing workshops, literary festivals, books, podcasts, panel discussions.
I spent quite a lot of time this week looking for and signing up to writing workshops that look interesting.
Routine supports and enables me
Sometimes I do, or would, struggle to just write, but Writers’ Hour has enabled so many of my writing hours! As of Wednesday this week, at 3pm, I’d already enjoyed 4.5 hours writing my own stuff. And that’s in addition to utility writing, and other external work, I’ve been doing – social media posts, a book review, workshop design, invoicing, emails, planning… Monday-Wednesdays are my busiest days for external stuff. So, this is so good!
Clarity on my priorities smashes decision fatigue
I applied for a contract last week. The following day I realised that I don’t actually want it. I’m enjoying writing so much and I don’t want to do anything that’ll take too much of my time and energy away from that.
I applied for a writing development course pretty soon after, and I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’ve been looking for, and signing up to an array of writing events too. I’m writing so much poetry and microfiction; it’s great, I feel really lucky.
My focus right now is working on:
- application for a poets’ development programme
- submissions for a poetry journal
Which means that work on Tree Tales (my series of dino trees non-fiction for kids) is on hold until August.
Focus is one of the motivations I had for going freelance (alongside autonomy and joy), so it feels good to have this clarity.
Inspiration and influences
My inspirations include Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Octavia Butler, adrienne maree brown, Beronda Montgomery, Anthony Anaxagorou and trees.
Most of the humans are American, that’s interesting. I want to expand my exposure to writers from elsewhere.
As for trees, members of the Betulaceae (birch family) & Fagaceae (beech family) especially inspire me. Those families are closely related, and include birch, hazel, alder, beech and oak. Trees with a particular affinity to water inspire me too, alongside hazel, birch & alder I already mentioned, as well as willow and aspen. These trees appear a lot in the tree poetry collection I’m writing.
Reading for pleasure
I’ve been trying to read in the evenings before I go to sleep, but I’m too tired when the time comes. And then it hit me that I could make a habit of reading in the mornings instead. That’s going much better!
Some flash fiction & poetry I read and enjoyed:
- The Partitioning of Dreams by Susmita Bhattacharya (includes audio, as well as text)
- Before Evelyn McHale Jumped by Laura Stanley, in Magma #80: Avatars
Love the rhymes, rhythm & repetition of this. Read it multiple times.
- After the Formalities by Anthony Anaxagorou, from After the Formalities
Heard Anthony read this, which was incredible. Got to my core.
- A Line of Simple Enquiry by Anthony Anaxagorou, from After the Formalities (video, 2.5 minutes)
It dawned on me the way a sneezem(OTHER) by Matthew Haigh, in Magma #80: Avatars
catches an elevator through the body
Some books I’m reading and enjoying:
- Lessons From Plants by Beronda Montgomery
- Everything About You by Heather Child
Made me laugh
Lesbian National Parks and Services: A Force of Nature