So I’ve had a bit of a grumpy day today, one of those days where it’s an effort to be nice and although you don’t know why, it feels like you’re sitting under your own personal raincloud. And then.
I got an e-mail telling me that I’d been longlisted for the Primers programme a couple of days ago but resisted the urge to brag about it because it was a blanket e-mail and I’d managed to convince myself it could have been sent to me by mistake. But now the list is there with my name on it (as well as fellow East Midlands poet Debris Stevenson’s, and some other familiar names which will doubtless get more familiar if we all stick at this writing thing).
Maybe you’re not supposed to show off about being on the longlist if you didn’t make the shortlist but I don’t care. It’s a small piece of evidence which I can add to the pile of ‘Times Something I Wrote Touched Another Human Being’ and that makes the days where I literally didn’t feel able to do anything except slump over my laptop in bed and write, totally worth it. And if anybody’s reading this thinking ‘Huh, lucky you, I think I may as well give up on this whole writing lark,’ PLEASE DON’T because I have felt like that many, many times. And feeling like that is okay as long as, when you can bear it, you grit your teeth and get on with the next poem, the next story or whatever it is that you create. Trust me, the graft is worth it.
I also feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how cool it is that The Poetry School and Nine Arches Press conceived this brilliant platform for emerging poets in the first place. You can keep an eye out on either website for news of the winners’s work next spring and hopefully this will become a yearly thing.
All the best to anyone suffering from writing/life-induced grumpiness & apologies for my moment of smugness.