Saturday, 5 January 2008

My writing and reasons

My reason for writing is, as all who write will tell you, twofold: I love it and I feel compelled.

I have a strong recollection of being laughed at when I openly declared “I want to be a poet, an artist or a teacher” to adults on the rough council estate where I grew up. In Southbank, Middlesbrough, most adults have never worked a day in their lives and have no compunction about it.

I dabbled with art but chose not to follow that path, preferring the enticing words of Aeschylus and Ovid over the call of smeared paint and pastel dust (which I still cover myself in from time to time; words and art are inseparable).

I taught in English schools for five years before leaving native shores and, finally, settling in Andalucia. After abandoning a failed marriage I somehow ended up ricocheting myself into a more familiar yet chaotic world and my need to write has reawakened as my life has settled into this happy maelstrom.

In the last year, I have been overjoyed with my progress; I’ve had workshops with Ruth Padel, Tobias Hill, Chris Hamilton Emery; seen Tony Harrison, AL Kennedy and Ali Smith in their finery, amongst others. I spent an intense week with The Blue Nose poets Mario Petrucci and Sue Hubbard in a charming Andalucian village, and I’ve written two draft zero novels; each in the space of a month.

My website has grown as submissions have been accepted by The Beat, 3am, Dogmatika, Six Sentences and Savage Manners. My understanding has doubled as I’ve received rejections and suggestions from Mslexia, Straight from the Fridge and Wolf etc.

But the point is; there’s no way I could get jaded.

May many more big shouts of NO and snippets of reasons why pile into my stuffed Spanish letterbox and guide me.

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