Today is the longest day. Quite a long grey day here in Glasgow, but always something to acknowledge, something to notice and commemorate. My solstice started with a lie in, and a Phone Call Offering Work. Maybe not the dream job I’m still trying to create for myself, but money coming into the house. Which is (too) hard to turn down.
During the excitement of MacBeth last week, I fooled myself into believing that the entire rest of my life would involve camera toting, shoulder brushing with world famous stars and drinking in of scintillating, cutting edge theatre. The first is really up to me. And the other two, well it looks like a promising summer.
Still, the past few days I have caught myself drumming my fingers, wonder who I was going to interview (and yes, I did come up with suggestions for myself). What I have done, is start the ball rolling with trying to recruit students for the first nine weeks poetry course I am running at the Regal Theatre in Bathgate.
It’s a massive deal for me. Teaching is a classic income stream for poets. These classes are incredibly reasonably priced (if I do say so myself) at £5 a head, or £40 for a nine week block. So it will be a very small income stream, even if it’s a very popular class. But one from doing something I love, and thanks to my own initiative. And I realise from my experiences on the festival circuit and with GAMH on a voluntary basis that it is a distinct vocation from writing. Related to it, but a vocation in and of itself, with its own rewards.
So the details are on the Regal website. They are on the SPL website. And when I figure out how to register as an advertiser which it doesn’t want me to do because I am registered to receive them, the CS Opportunites website too.
Realising how long it has taken to set this up, despite everything in its favour (I know the people at the venue, I don’t need any funding etc) has been a reality check for me. In the first few weeks of learning that I would lose my job, I had a million and one Platinum Standard Creative Ideas. Some might never come to fruition, most will have to wait longer than I’d like. But as well as learning that it can be hard work, I’ve learnt that it can be done.
That’s not just a lesson worth learning. It’s hope. A ray of light on a grey solstice night, realising that it might take longer than you’d like, that your life is likely to contain surprises and you will constantly have to reassess what you are and what you do. But that it truly is within your grasp to be and do absolutely anything you dare.
So what are you waiting for?