Well Ladies and Gentlemen, the mini adventure has been completed. There were days when inspiration had left me and I was in an apocalyptic creative wasteland trying to tune in the radio to the emergency channel and all I got was static. However hard slog won the day.
This is what I’ve learnt:
A little pressure does wonders for focusing the mind and making you sit down to write. Good, bad or downright horrendous it doesn’t matter; bum in seat, at the laptop, every day. In these last few weeks I’ve been far more disciplined with my writing than I’ve ever been before.
Trust your instincts when you write. The initial idea will usually be the keeper. It may take some patience and time to evolve, but trying to write about something you’re not inspired to write about or you think you should write about doesn’t work. Bad move, very poor writing.
Research to avoid looking like a numpty and failing before you even start. I was lucky to be able to participate last night. The performers register online in advance. I thought I could rock up early and put my name on the list. NO NO NO! Also, this open mic was supposed to be run like a competition (gaaahhhhhh) – the poems judged and a winner declared but because half the people on the list didn’t turn up (including the compere) it was run as ordinary open mic and I got to read.
There will always be reasons for not doing something. Do it anyway.
These are the poems that I read. The first one is a response to the very first open mic I went to, about 2 months ago, and the subsequent open mics. The diversity of people writing is fantastic. The topics range from one end of the spectrum to the other. However, what they all have in common is their passion to write and the choice to express themselves through poetry.
The second poem is the advice I got when I had completed the first draft of the first poem. Sound advice.
For the Writers
Be Thankful! Say Thank you – Dhanyavaad* , Shukriya*
For the gift
For the power
For the courage to use it
You are the wordsmiths, wielding the hammer and the tongs
Tap tap tapping, molding and tempering – crafting the language like Hephaestus in his forge
Sharp and stinging, cutting and chilling
Break hearts and dowse for tears
Make jungle traps
Ensnare readers like curious creatures
seeking the treasures left for them there
The Mother, The Father
Custodians of the fickle spirit
Disciplinarians and Appeasers
Cajolers and Wheedlers
A little song and dance to amuse your muse
Failure or success
Good Better Best.
Start causes, heal the broken.
Give voice to those that have none
Expression to words that cannot be spoken
Be steadfast, unwavering.
Protect it like a tigress.
No bows or pretty paper – this present is wrapped up in you.
The gift you give is like no other, so say thank you
Make it tiny
Tighten up tighten up
Mean and lean like a fight weight boxer
trim off the fat from your poetry machine
Discard the flowers, decorations and tat
leave the bare bones and leave it at that
*Dhanyavaad is thank you in Hindi
*Shukriya is thank you in Urdu
This is the link to the Facebook page of The Hive where the open mic took place. There were some photos taken of us on stage so check in to have a look. In the meantime here is a photo as proof.