It occurs to me that I spend an awful lot of my time on prep for my work and on writing it up afterwards – today I have loads of writeups and follow-up work and prep to do. Perhaps it’s just me; I don’t know if other people doing similar work spend so much time on this stuff. Anyway, I seem to have spent a lot of time on it last week as well.
On Monday I finished the prison poetry book and spent a lot of time on prep for an event I have on National Poetry Day (next week – October 6th). This was all a bit wasted because of changes the organisers have made, but at least it showed them the sorts of things I would plan to do. In the evening I went to hear my friend Jonathan reading from his new book of poetry, in Bristol; it was a bit of a trip just for half an hour of readings, but I’m glad I went; it’s good to support other people when you can.
Tuesday was a strange day. I went to the hospital and worked with two wonderful people, but I felt odd – very tired and a bit aimless, and I just had to sleep in the afternoon. I sorted out some phone call and emails, and in the evening went to see Tinker, Tailor, etc. I love John le Carré, and the film was a very accurate representation of the book. The Bloke found it a little slow, but I enjoyed the careful build up. The production values were excellent, too; no anachronisms that I noticed.
Wednesday was hospital writeup, emails, actions for Poetry on Loan, prep for my Ledbury Poetry Festival meetings, prep for the TADS meeting, typing up prison pieces and prep for the prison – almost a whole day apparently doing nothing but actually it was all essential. I had two LPF meetings, and then off immediately to the TADS meeting.
Thursday was the prison, where my writing group amazed me again. One of them, who is not a natural writer at all, listened carefully to everything everyone said, and then suddenly showed us that he does have an imagination; that it’s possible to learn how to write well, just by paying attention and being prepared to do things differently. Hooray! In the evening more prep, for my doctors’ surgery group.
And on Friday? More prep, for the writing squads I run for young people in Hereford; TADS meeting minutes; proofreading the prison book; and a session at the surgery – again this went really well. In the evening I went to see a play – my first for this year’s Gloucestershire Drama Association adjudication work.
Saturday were the writing squads. The morning session, for younger ones, was great fun; they all had a lovely time and wrote some good stuff. Unfortunately there was a mix-up and the afternoon session didn’t happen. Oh dear. I suppose things are bound to go wrong sometimes, despite all my prep. And on Sunday I got the book of palliative care nurses’ poems ready.
Prep and writeups, all week, really – and this week will be more of the same. I had planned, at one point, to take this week off and perhaps go away somewhere cheap, but all the expense of the last few weeks (new car exhaust, work on my roof, unexpected income tax bill, car insurance) have put paid to that, so it’s going to be a week spent at my computer.
This all sounds a little bit down. It shouldn’t do, really; I love my work, and I couldn’t do it properly without all the additional time spent on the peripherals, so that’s it. At least when I do the stuff it goes well, and that’s the important thing.