Sunday, January 11, 2009

Out of Hibernation - Blinking into Zero Nine.

New Year well under way, with sheer human folly and grimness in the ascendant, I'm just about ready to stand up straight now. Having taken my sweet time uncurling from midwinter stupor, last week saw me back in the workplace, shaking my head every now and then to spark synaptic embers. Didn't work much. It's only this weekend that any semblance of regular service is resuming.

The holidays were a peculiar mix of slobbing and stressing this year. All the usual elements mincemeating themselves together; family, food, booze, sleep. And, of course, the demon flipside of self-indulgence - introspection! I'm all in favour of New Year, birthdays, anniversaries etc., as opportunistic points of reflection. While I'm not so good on the forward-looking 'resolution' end of things, I do find value in the the 'altitude' that these occasions provide. A chance for some perspective on those woods passed through while trying not to crash into too many trees along the way. Many questions.

On my writing, for example. Where's it going? Is it going? What's the cost of keeping it going? I'm a little burned out, I guess. Not so much blocked [btw, interesting article by Anne Enright over on the Guardian on this subject] - as choc-a-blocked! Too much going on. Rather, too much bubbling manically under the surface to be getting on with. Not so much burned out then, more like spread a bit thin. Or perhaps the opposite? Logjammed? Gridlocked? Strung out? I'm a frayed knot. Time is always tight. Money even tighter!

I write; poems, short fiction, reviews, this blog. I paint too (that's one of mine above) and I also take photographs, make illustrations and do a bit of songwriting, when I get a chance. I run my own business, try to ignore our dilapidated decor, have young family (older family too) and I'm involved in a couple of organisations. I've had a measure of success in all these areas, as well as some painful disappointments. Now, at a stage where energy levels aren't quite as resilient as a decade ago, I sometimes wonder if I'm slipping into jack-of-all-trades territory.

Difficult to know, then, if a fresh dose of self-discipline and efficiency might allow me to maintain further progress in all these areas - or simply result in a coronary. Do I need to consider trimming some elements from the mix? Difficult, especially when there's as many others I would still like to get around to! None of which would impress my bank manager.

Oh well - if one must ponder these things, then the dim light of January is probably a suitable time to do so. Other than that, my ongoing resolution must remain - as always - 'Do More Good Stuff. Better!" Maybe that's the problem right there?

Writing-wise, so far 2009 has brought rejections, from Contrary and The SHOp - but also publication in Orbis 145 (thanks Carole) and over on Nthpostion (thanks Todd), both of which I'm very well chuffed about.

So, onwards! Here's wishing a peaceful, progressive and productive 2009 to all who pass through these parts. Stay busy. I guess?