So I write a lot of poetry and I was thinking of self publishing a poetry book. I know how to do that pretty easily because I’m putting together a poetry anthology for charity.

A lot of the poetry is quite personal but I’m okay with putting personal stuff out into the world. But I’m not sure about putting out poetry where I’ve written about other people.

There’s a quote by Anne Lamott- “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

I agree to an extent.

But there’s a decent amount of poetry that I’ve written when I’ve been in a not-so-great place and haven’t been particularly kind about the people I’m writing about. I don’t write about people so much as the way they made me feel though. So it is my story, not theirs.

99% of the poems about other people are so vague that even the people they are about, probably wouldn’t know who they are about. So they are okay to publish, right?

If I don’t publish any poems about other people, then this dilemma goes away.

But then it feels like I’m being fake, because no one is an island.

Then again, I have a lot of poetry that doesn’t have anything to do with other people. Writing about the way music makes me feel, or dealing with having a chronic illness, what mental illness is like. So do I just publish those ones?

How much do I own the stories that include other people?


Not meeting goals

I’m behind on nearly all my goals for the year.

Including writing on this blog more often.

The reason being that I’ve been changing a lot of my medications, so my health has been all over the place. I’ve come off a lot of medications that I no longer need (yay!) but then that’s messed up other medications.

I was on the pill for painful periods and it was making my depression worse. I came off the pill, but then as a result, I was on more antidepressant than I needed. So I had hypomania, though I didn’t realise it at the time. I thought it was just insomnia, so I asked my doctor for something to help me sleep. I was given a medication that used to be used as an antidepressant but has the side effect of making you sleepy (which is why it’s no longer really used as an antidepressant) but that on top of what I was already taking, made my sleep even worse.

So then my pain started to get bad again from lack of sleep but I couldn’t take the same painkillers I used to take because they were effecting my digestive system.

So now I’m coming off the antidepressant. And I’m discovering I was having more side effects from the antidepressant than I was realising. In looking through the side effects after coming off it, I realised it can cause colitis.

My colitis is much better, but that could be the immunosuppressants kicking in. Or it could be that the antidepressant was causing the colitis. Which makes sense since the doctor has so far been unable to identify the cause of the colitis. So now I need to talk to my stomach doctor and point out that it might have been the antidepressant causing me problems.

The thing is, it can take months for it to cause colitis, and it might not happen until after a dose increase, so the antidepressant wouldn’t have been in my list of recent new meds when I first had stomach problems.

I’m just about getting my health settled again, which means now I need to get my sleeping pattern into a normal routine again and building up my activity levels again.

Sometimes medications cause more problems than they solve.

I’m worried about the effect on my mental health of not being on antidepressants though. I’ve not come off them fully yet. I’ve only halved the dose so far and I’m not feeling depressed so far. But I’m worried about what’s to come.

Yet I know the more I worry about it, the more likely I will get worse because I will be stressed from worrying about it.

It’s all a vicious circle and I’m trying to find my way out.

Contradicting resolutions

One of my new year’s resolutions was to buy less stuff. Which is going really well so far. Granted it’s just been Christmas so I just got a load of stuff. But not including virtual purchases of music/books (because the resolution was to reduce the amount of physical stuff in my house and on the planet), I’ve bought 2 things this year that aren’t in the normal food shop- some electronics cleaning wipes, and some material to create a patch to fix a hole in a teddy.

When I’m buying stuff, I have to think about one of my other resolutions- be more green. The wipes are disposable, so they aren’t very eco friendly. But I want to use wipes rather than a wet cloth because I don’t want to damage the electronics by using too much water, because then they have to be replaced and create more waste (previously I just hadn’t cleaned my electronics which I now realise is disgusting). My other purchase, the material, is definitely eco friendly though because it’s for repairing the teddy rather than replacing it.

And then we get to the problem… I made a resolution to post on YouTube more often, and to improve at ukulele, and to finally learn pyrography with the equipment I bought god knows how long ago.

As part of my posting more on YouTube, I wanted to improve the quality of my videos. I have a camera I can use already so that’s easy right? I tried it today and it turns out the microphone is placed right next to the lens so you can constantly hear the lens autofocusing. So I need an external microphone. Which means buying something (against my buy less resolution). I’m going to try and get one secondhand though, to make it more eco friendly.

I’ve also found that I have a problem with my ukulele. It needs a new nut. Nuts are replaceable but it was a cheap ukulele. So paying someone to replace the nut for me might be more expensive than getting a new ukulele (I could then give the old uke to the shop who would fix it up before selling it on). So I don’t know what to do about that. Do I do the thing that is more money responsible (another resolution), or the thing that involves less waste and is more eco friendly? I’m going to see how much a replacement nut costs and hopefully it’s not too much.

And then there’s pyrography. I’ve tried it and it’s fun. I can’t wait to learn how to do it better. But reading through the book on pyrography techniques that I have, I think I’m going to need to upgrade my heat tool fairly quickly. It’s a pretty basic tool so I can learn the basics but if I want to progress I might have to buy something better. We will see how it goes, since I won’t reach that point for several months yet.

Anyone want to tell me their resolutions? How’s everything going so far?

New year, new goals

I have new goals for the year and need somewhere to be held accountable. I also have a cool table to mark off how I’m doing with each goal that I want to show off. I have 44 goals, and my overall aim is to achieve 24 of them.

1. read 52 books

2. Including 12 classics

3. And 12 non fiction

4. Improve keyboard

5. Especially music theory

6. Improve guitar

7. Improve ukulele

8. Improve spanish

9. Improve photography

10. Improve drawing

11. and draw more regularly

12. Write 52 poems

13. Extra goal- write 104 poems

14. Write 12 short fiction pieces

15. Finish novel first draft

16. Publish poetry book

17. Finish nerdfighter poetry book

18. Write 4 songs

19. Learn italian

20. Learn pyrography

21. Lose weight

22. Quit smoking

23. Stay alcohol free

24. Donate £120 (£10 per month)

25. Save £200 a month

26. Watch 12 new films

27. Build up to 8,000 steps a day

28. Meditate daily

29. Note down 3 positive things a day every day

30. Keep track of money and what’s in my bank account

31. Have a clean email account (delete old emails, unsubscribe from useless shit)

32. Buy less stuff

33. Be more green

34. Consistently keep a diary

35. Upload to YouTube regularly

36. Start a pension

37. Create the scrapbook project I was supposed to do in 2017

38. Less internet and social media

39. Don’t get pulled into other people’s drama

40. Stay mentally healthy as much as possible

41. Get a skincare routine that works and is easy and I don’t hate

42. Meet new people and make new friends

43. Organise photos

44. Blog more regularly

Hopefully I will remember to come back to this post and update it by putting achieved goals into bold.