Well it’s definitely been a busy year. But then I suspect life is just always busy. If the pace ever slackens up I’ll be sure to let you know. I have had a lot of work-related travel this year though: the NSW Regional Arts network always meets three times a year, but I’ve also been in Sydney for grants assessment meetings, plus the very very memorable Regional Arts Australia conference in Kalgoorlie. So, you know. Busy.
Sometimes when you work full-time it can be hard to prioritise or even justify your own individual creative pursuits. Nevertheless I think it is a necessity. Making the time to work on the projects and ideas that you really want to can help keep you sane, keep you going at all those other times when you need to perform / function as a human being.
Of course I don’t have any great tips to offer on how to achieve this. I’ve come to value the hours I have to myself late at night. I get some exercise, I try to clear my head, and I try to get some writing done. I’m not sure why but I did have an unusually productive period over winter this year. Maybe temperature has everything to do with it. I put together a useful amount of new poetry, and this is material I’m hoping will one day be the basis of a second collection (still do buy a copy of lollyology though, if you haven’t already…) Some of the poems have been published this year too. ‘perfect teeth’ and ‘binding’ were both published in Cordite 47. And more recently my piece ‘winter collation’ was featured in fourW 25, published by the Booranga Writers’ Centre.
Over the second half of the year I spent a couple of hours per week acting as an online mentor for distance education creative writing students at Charles Sturt University. It was a small but stimulating role, something that kept me in involved in a dialogue about writing. I’ve taken this on a few times previously and it is always rewarding to see emerging writers flourish under guidance.
My role at Western Riverina Arts has also required me to take a lot of photographs, to show off in a sense. I’ve been really enjoying this though, playing and exploring what a camera can do. I was quietly pleased to see that Riverina Local Land Services (an organisation that has funded a number of our projects here) have used one of my shots of the irrigation channel in Leeton as their Facebook profile image.
Finally, I guess I’m now looking forward to an even more productive year in 2015. I’m aiming to really focus on that second full-length collection of poetry. I’ll also be finding the time to work with Jason Richardson on a long-planned poetry / film project. Let me know what you’re planning in the comments! Only if you want.
(At the launch of fourW 25 in Wagga. Image by Debbie Angel, Booranga Writers’ Centre)