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My work caught up to me (as always).

It’s been a while since I posted something other than one of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry poems, so I thought I’d rectify that with a ramble about what’s been happening lately.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been busy with various writing projects this year – drafting, revising, going through major edits, most of which came back to back. In early November, I finally managed to finish the ‘final’ revision for the book I wrote last year in order to get it ready for querying (which I’m currently doing).

Shortly after completion, the weight of all the energy I’d used up doing everything hit me hard: my sleep, which has never be good, got worse, and I couldn’t handle much physically or mentally. I probably should have seen it coming, because it’s happened before, but even if I had, I’m not sure what I could have done about it. I’m terrible at taking breaks and resting. I’m not even sure if I know how to rest – no matter how hard I try, my brain won’t stop chiming in with all the projects I’ve got lined up, and if I don’t have any, it ‘helpfully’ comes up with some.

The thing is, the longer I put off resting, the worse my energy levels will be affected when I do get to it. So I had to force myself to slow down, because my body was telling me I had to. So I spent a while playing games, which I rarely do otherwise despite how much I enjoy them, went out for more walks, cared for and added (substantially!) to my houseplant collection, and only worked on my fundraising project.

This did work for a while, but then I got a few emails about being part of a story festival, which meant I had another project to prepare for. And it seems that, if I have any sort of deadline, no matter if it’s ages away, my brain will not let me settle until whatever it is is done.

I ended up doing it all as fast as I could so I no longer had to think about it, and I felt so much better afterwards that I even managed to do some small festive crafty things (I like the idea of making things, but generally I’m too impatient and get bored halfway through, which then means I end up resenting it while being too stubborn to give up. Conundrums, conundrums.)

But then I got the itch to rework an older book, and though in some ways, I probably would benefit from taking a few more weeks to recover, when I started taking a look at the story and began tweaking, I felt like I was achieving something again. It’s an odd headspace to be in – I’m tired as I’m still not sleeping well, and I can’t really handle more than one activity a day (I disregard general cleaning, as that’s part of my morning routine, and I get so badly thrown off if I don’t do it that it’s just not worth skipping it. Also, I have birds, and their care comes well before mine). Yet if I don’t have some sort of work on the go, apparently I feel unfulfilled.

I do wonder if other creatives, especially those who are neurodivergent, have the same problem?

Poetry

A chat with the ground

I was with the skull all evening,

smirking at its cold jokes.

Our breath came out in backwards hymns

as it spoke of what death is really like.

I said to it that I wanted to shake its hand

for giving me such relief.

It replied that

one day, when it worked up the energy,

it would reach its arms out of the earth

in daisies and let me pick them.

Poetry

Safe-cracking

The elation is bubbling, it’s brewing inside,

wanting to escape my body, making my fingers want to twitch

and hands flap, like a great torrential tide.

I know I can release it,

no-one’s said I can’t.

Yet the stares and whispers from ghosts

keep the iron-grip I have on myself

as powerful as an attack with a lance.

But if I do it when no-one’s looking,

release the hold bit by bit,

perhaps I can let myself flick out this ball of energy

and have it leave me content and happy

without shaming myself to quit.

Poetry

Moon song

It’s tough work, drawing enough of yourself

up from the well

that has grown brambles and roses all over

to prevent anyone snatching it away.

No longer can an echo bring up droplets from its depths

to sprinkle as greetings

when greeting is the last thing you want to do.

Even the sun offering its hand

can sway you only so much,

but the moon is the one who whispers to you

urging the water inside

to be spilt only when necessary

and fully charged by its silver.

Poetry

Shock Waves

My body charges, electric triggers,

kinetic activity without consciousness.

A way to handle it all, a dance

both natural and strange. Magic to me,

psychotic to others, turning, winding, spinning.

 

Should I stop? Can I stop?

 

The energy might come out

as fire or lightning

if I force myself to slow.

Poetry

Waterworks

Rinsing my emotions down the drain

is like convincing Thor to put down his hammer.

I’ll do it

reluctantly and sometimes violently,

turning the tap on fully so that water spits

at full pressure,

thunderous as a barbaric yawp;

 

it washes away everything

before I have a chance to reconsider.

 

I’m left as the soulless husk

they want me to be,

ready for the day’s reprogramming

to begin.