Preparation Versus Procrastination

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Not my desk by the way – via Pinterest.com

There is one major flaw to my creativity. Procrastination. Although, the more I look into that word I feel that maybe this doesn’t serve me, I just need things to be right.

My desk is a very finely crafted piece of art, in my eyes anyway. No, it isn’t made from trees that stood tall in an ancient forest, it is arranged very precisely and is changed from time to time depending on what mood I am in. Sometimes I enjoy the clutter of books, candles and stationery. Other times I need clarity, space and echoes.

Today, I have a tidy desk filled with a succulent plant, a cat teacup filled with pens and pencils, a small wicker basket that houses my overflowing stationery collection, a mug filled with tea, my notebook and my creative diary. Above my desk I have tacked my favourite images; postcards of Dali, the desk of Dylan Thomas in his boathouse, Anaïs Nin at her typewriter, Charles Bukowski casually smiling with a cigarette between his fingers, a dried flower tucked inside the artwork of Kurt Cobain. Each piece is carefully curated to aid me living my artful life.

Back to procrastinating. I know that I am like a rusty old car sometimes, I need to make that strongly brewed tea, I need to get my notes ready and I know I need to search on Pinterest, just in case I missed an amazing picture (ok maybe the last is procrastination) but there is always this build-up, it isn’t a “oh god, I don’t want to do it” thought, it’s an excitement, the pleasure before the ultimate climax and the dressing up before going out at night. I need to be prepared and in the right frame of mind, I don’t want that just got up and slumped at my desk feeling I get in a 9-5 job – that takes at least three teas and a croissant to make me come round. Creating is important to me and I want to be able to sit, sip and write until my fingers are sore.

Preparation. Not procrastination.

I would be interested in your comments about this and what you do to prepare yourself for a day at work.

Blood and Ink

People either love the fact I am a poet or they rip into me like poetry went out of fashion in 1889. I’m sorry that poetry isn’t your thing but neither is watching reality TV or eating animals; we all have our own lives. I do however feel, as a woman, I sometimes get a hard time as a poet. I have heard people write off Sylvia Plath in favour of Ted Hughes as “the real poet”. A comment once made by someone who will remain anonymous was that “poetry suits women, they are great at whining”. Yet male figures who open their hearts to the reader is seen as the hero. Women poets are seen as weaklings.

Sylvia Plath

Before this ridiculousness came upon me as an adult, I was a child poet, unpublished and happy as hell. I started writing poetry in school and I loved it so much I decided to keep writing on the weekends. I was enveloped by the idea that the use of colours, textures, landscapes and feelings could be put into one little poem. Of course, I copied the major poets in style and although that was enjoyable, I felt I didn’t quite have my own style yet, that would come with practise, I knew that much. Over the years I read poetry religiously and what has occurred to me is that my style is not of the formulaic way. I appreciate good rounded poetry with its certain number of stanzas etc but that is all I see it as, a great poem, in a technical sense. I however, believe that art should make you feel something. I hear amazing guitar solos in songs but sometimes they just have no groove, I hear people singing songs written by others but they have no soul, I see amazing landscape paintings but they give me no warmth…I want to feel, I want to be upset, surprised, disturbed, happy, sad, I want to laugh because it has simple made me feel something.

My poetry comes from a very deep and dark place. A culmination of thoughts, realities, experiences and feelings all collide in lines upon lines of poetry. I can’t write about pretty flowers or cats; I write about feelings, observations; it is cathartic and my very own way of expressing myself. It is a therapy that stops me from feeling utterly insane.

Anne Sexton

“Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.”
― Anne Sexton

It has occurred to me over the years that poets have so much in them but they feel they have to write in a certain way. Please don’t let stuffy old poetry magazine editors put you off, create your art for you and always remember this very simple thing:

Art is subjective.

Patti Smith

We cannot please everyone. If we did, then how boring would that be? Keep at it, be true to yourself and in the words of Patti Smith:

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Be More Bohème

 

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Source: Aëla Labbé

Be More Bohème , that is my message but what does that actually mean?

According to the trusty internet a bohemian can be defined as a carefree soul that defies convention.

My definition? A bohemian is a magical being that moves through life sprinkling glitter with every gesture, they are always reaching for the moon and dirtying their nails in the earth. They appear as artists, Mothers, teachers, light workers, writers, witches, and mystical beings.

Bohemianism is a very romantic word; it conjures up images of starving artists at rowdy parties and caffeine highs in the cafés of Paris. This is, as I say, a romantic view but what does this mean today? From my observations and numerous conversations; we have become disillusioned. The world is moving faster than we can manage, more is expected of us and we feel like the art of creativity is “just a hobby”. We are not expressing ourselves enough, we aren’t allowing ourselves to live creative lives; we must embody the magic we were born with.

As a child I saw life as birth and death. Anything in-between was a day in, day out struggle. You were born to work and if you had a good job you were obviously more intelligent and better than anyone else (yeah right). I yearned for more, I knew there was more to this life and all these years later I have realised there really is and it is amazing!!

The bit in-between life and death is a journey and instead of trudging your way through it we must paint it with bright colours, throw glitter at it (I really love glitter) and understand who we are and where we came from. We need to explore ourselves and what is around us, understand we have the ability to heal ourselves and connect to our primal nature. We have lost that connection and being able to bring it back into your life will conjure up that sense of happiness we all wish for.

I believe the bohemian soul knows itself through and through and feeds itself until it wants to burst. You can feed it with long country walks, reading a book, sipping tea, painting, writing, dancing, playing games with children, eating a comforting dinner, cuddling up with your significant other, buying a warm blanket for the cold nights, dressing up, making pottery, filling your fingers full of rings, getting tattooed, lying on the grass staring at the stars, worshiping the moon, sowing seeds…this is food for the soul. We must learn to do what makes us happy and what makes our heart sing and not what people think we should do.

This blog was created to inspire. It is a continuous resource of inspiration and wisdom. Despite what has happened to us, what we are going through or what we try and plan for the future we must accept that this is all one big journey. We have two options; we curl up in a ball and live it in misery or we open ourselves up to the beauty of our journey. As soon as we open up, so does the world around us. So turn off the phone and tune into yourself.

Just remember one thing: you are magic my dear and I hope you can follow my journey and if you want, come on it with me.

Katie

Patchwork People: Musings on being multi-faceted

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I see it too many times, I see people shying away from their true selves because they worry about the opinion of others. They believe that people will evict them from their social circle, if you have friends like that then we will not call them friends. True friends know you well enough to enjoy your company whether it is head banging at a gig, walking around bookshops, getting tattooed or reading your poetry out loud to a hall full of patchouli wearing bohemians (which will include yourself of course). I am and have always been – multi-faceted. I am not afraid of it either. I can be whimsical and wear a victorian style dress or I can get some skinny jeans on and cowboy boots. I am just me and within that; there are a lot of different pieces waiting to be discovered.

I am an entity, a full person who is not rich in pocket but rich in appetite; an appetite for knowledge and exploration. I am interested in so many things in this world that my brain spins in my skull as every second ticks by. My observations show me that there are many people with a certain façade but inside they carry a great patchwork of loves and hates. Some of these patches are so unlike each other yet some are nearly identical, however they will never be shown to anyone else because the façade is so strong and so influenced by onlookers that the patchwork is like another person, a secret person nestled inside you. It is all good and well to have guilty pleasures but when you are not fulfilling your life when time is so short, it brings great sadness.

I may have a job but my purpose in life is undoubtedly; writing. If you look into my history, I believe I may have covered a lot of ground when it comes to my craft. My writing career has ranged from publishing traditional to surrealist poetry, gothic short stories, producing autobiographical zines, I was an occult columnist, a creative copywriter and the editor of a rock and roll magazine. I have taken the route of which I started and I am writing for myself, incorporating influences from the people that took my hand and led me down the path I so wished to walk down.

I am however, susceptible to obsessions. I may have years of reading a certain circle of authors and then I may discover something else but for me, within art, obsession is completely healthy and it feeds the mind, it feeds the soul – it is a beautiful experience because it shows you are hungry. I am always hungry, if not starving.

Whet your appetite and open up to yourself. You only have one chance on earth and you must use it. Drink it up, indulge, learn, discover and never be afraid of making mistakes. Be yourself.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

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I call Neil Gaiman my gardener. He helped to plant seeds and constantly water my creativity. I have a lot to thank him for.

The View From The Cheap Seats is a huge tome filled to the brim with brilliant essays on just about everything. From his life as a writer, making good art to introducing us to some of the people he has come across in his life that have made a difference. From start to finish this is a wonderful read that just inspired me so much I thought I might burst at the seams. Libraries, bookshops, music, fairytales and a bounty of creative influences – this is absolutely jam packed with so many amazing tales and inspiration for the modern day writer.

Neil isn’t someone who thinks he has a gift and that no one else can have it. Some writers tend to have egos that are so big that there is no room for anyone else in the literary world. Neil is very down to earth and open about his craft, the very nature of writing is to share stories and he does this well both in fiction and non-fiction, as you will find out in this book. He is passionate about his work, even after all these years his mind is still churning up stories that are as magical as they day he started writing these fantastical tales. He is a true gem that everyone should treasure and if you have never read any of his work then go out and find a world you will never want to come back from.

 

The Novel of the Future by Anaïs Nin

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Anaïs Nin is a name people usually associate with erotica. Well, there is a lot more to her than that. First and foremost a diarist, her work became a worldwide success and she proceeded to write essays and host several lectures.

Anaïs was very fortunate to have lived and be surrounded by some of the most wonderful bohemians of her time. She danced with them, wrote with them, supported them and endured the company of some of the most brilliant minds. This book is a wonderful collection of advice from one of my favourite writers of all time.

The Novel of the Future has been described as a manifesto. She tackles the mainstream writers of the time and compares it to her own approach to writing. Her duty within this is to pluck out the lesser-known writers and give them more credit for their. She explores her own creativity that lies in emotion, dreams, psychoanalysis and textures. This book gives a real insight into her writing. If you are someone who just thinks she wrote about sex then you should really delve into more of her work and then read this. With such insight into her writing it will really give you a deeper understanding of her world, which I believe is rather magical and compelling. This book may not be for everyone but it does include lots of inspirational tips and insights into the mind of an artist.