20min Morning Writing Workout

So if your going to do this you need to wake up 30min earlier to make time OR, you might want to do it on the train on your phone or something OR I am actually using this as a warm up for a day of writing. So this has nothing to do with the script I am writing but it acts as a creative anchor and warm up for the rest of my day.

  1. Inspo: Whilst you are getting ready put on some sort of documentary with interesting info in it. I was watching (well semi-background watching) The Insider Toxic Waste Dump with Reggie Yates.
  2. Focus: Afterwards, turn all your wifi and data off on everything, set a 10min timer on your phone and put it in a draw.
  3. Freewrite: Write freely, but let any background imagery from the doc come into the writing whenever you feel stuck, but at the same time try to dig deep into your subconscious, your dreams.

Freewrite (typos, notes and all cause I am v. dyslexic) 

I want to write a letter to you,

I want to burn the plastic around you,

I want to step my bare foot into the mud.

Find rthe sound.

Bear foot into the mud,

I am a spade. I am a pit.

 

Your looking at my eyebrows quiet a lot.

They take up quiet a large proportion of my face.

We seem so preoccupied with love.

I live next to a railway track so I can sleep through 8 alarms back to back.

 

I love everything about you except your alarms.

I want to tell you I love you but you have been talking about yourself for 40minutes now and I am not sure that you know I am hear.

So I drink your hieniken and readust the blue plastic bags over my muddy boots.

 

Do you mind if I kiss you.

Right hand on giant brass gorilla statue.

Before you leave and I wonder where in my future you could have been.

Humans are the problem.

 

I’ve learned how to love myself and now I want to write you a letter.

I want to eat omlettes with you on stools at noon.

I want my pillow to smell of your hair products and sweat.

 

Monogomy makes no sense but I want it.

Do I need it? I can feel the building works inside of me.

Low vibrations of train overhead.

Bar under a railway bridge.

Gin and tonic in the fridge.

Outside your window two pigeons are fighting over love,

Or whatever the pigeon equivalent is.

 

I saw d double set 2 doves free in east London

And their lyrics will fly like birds in the sky

Hit one of your breadrins in the eye.

And I wonder where they are hiding,

 

How conspicuous 2 doves would be wondering around Newham,

Or maybe their difference would be an advantage.

Maybe they would colonise street corners,

Start drinking marinda and chill outside dixy.

I wonder what bird or animal my lyrics might be,

If they might fly, or crawl or swim, how they would touch people –

A slap, a hit, a seduction… maybe the 8 odd spiders your supposed to eat every year

Or is it every life time, or a cat at the end of the bed,

Or the cat that isn’t yours but you feed anyway,

A goose chasing a toddler round a pond.

 

This is all getting very meta,

I want to send you a letter

I don’t believ ein regrets

I believe in becoming better

And I needed to leave you to grow

And now I’ve grown so slow

And you left no sign of yourself on our own road

Except this one dove that has no idea where to go.

 

(end of cliff hanger, phone in a draw)

 

4.   Edit: 10min timer, copy and paste free write. Edit with instincts. Give it a title.

I Love Everything About you Except Your Alarms

 

I want to write a letter to you,

I want to burn the plastic around you,

I want to step my bare foot into the mud.

Find the squelchy envelop of sound.

 

Your looking at my eyebrows quiet a lot.

They take up a large proportion of my face.

I live next to a railway track so I can sleep through 8 alarms back to back.

 

I love everything about you except your alarms.

I want to tell you I love you

but you have been talking about yourself for 40minutes now

and I am not sure that you know I am here.

 

I drink your Heineken

readjust the blue plastic bags over muddy wellies.

Do you mind if I kiss you?

Humans are the problem.

But I still want to write you a letter.

eat omelets with you on stools at noon,

a pillow that smells of your hair products.

 

Monogamy makes no sense but I want it.

Do I need it? I can feel the building works inside of me.

Low vibrations of train overhead.

Bar under a railway bridge.

Gin and tonic in the fridge.

 

I saw d double set 2 doves free in East London

And their lyrics will fly like birds in the sky

Hit one of your bredrins in the eye.

And I wonder where they are hiding around Newham,

surviving off spilt Marinda outside Dixy

picking up a weed habit off gutter-bud,

their coo growing rougher.

 

I wonder, what bird or animal my lyrics might be,

If they might fly, or crawl or swim, or slap…

maybe they’re one of the 8 spiders you’re supposed to eat every year

crawling into unsuspecting mouths. Or maybe they’re the cat at the end of the bed,

or a goose chasing a toddler round a pond.

 

You left no sign of yourself on our road

except this one dove with no idea where to go,

I watch it pecking at spilt Marinda from my window,

 

my eighth alarm a pick axe at your pillow.

 

5.  Get it Mature: File it somewhere, send it to someone for feedback, leave it for a bit! So you can come back to it in a week, month, year or something, fresh and come up with a more comprehensive strategy. I save my writing into project files – Collection, Grime Poetry, Journal and in each of those I have Ideas/Drafts with feedback/Drafts without feedback/finished so when I don’t want to write I can always edit or have stuff to send for feedback!

Have a great day!

Debris x

p.s. photography on cover image by visual fold

 

Trinbago take 2 – Break Down to Break Through.

What if you fight against the odds, defy ‘normality’ and redefine ‘success’ – the dyslexic becomes a poet/ the girl from Ilford an academic/ the prolific bashment raver an Artistic Director. Then, you realise everything you have worked 18 hour days for, for 10 years (since you were 15) sacrificed your teenage years for – isn’t where you need to be anymore.

18 months ago, I gave up every component of my life because I realised I needed to go home. To Ilford, to my family, to my friends, to grime, to rage, to fear, to trauma, to the boxes I had locked into the loft for so long. I left a city that had been home for 8 years (my whole adult life) a company I started and established for 6, a relationship I had been in for 5 and a physical home I had built for 3 – all to live in my old tiny bedroom with my parents, in Ilford, at 26.

It doesn’t seem like the obvious road to success. But I had realised I had lost part of who I was and I needed to reclaim it. 

I also had realised that, though I was doing so many things I was proud of and loved, I had stopped being happy. Although I did things that made me happy retrospectively, though I could talk to you about joy and pride – on a daily basis I was too exhausted to remember what the experience of joy was.

But something happened in Trinidad – something about the cocoa, pepper and hips, the undercurrent of pain and the way their voices sing over and through it. The theme somehow – take disruption as opportunity, serendipity. Yes, Debris, you always have a plan, but if there is traffic down the planned road and a hot air balloon presents itself on the hard shoulder – why refuse yourself the view?  

This trip was a hot air balloon ride – at times slow and blown in directions that could make me anxious but the views of the people, the places, the music were so beautiful and right I had to just stop and breathe and stretch in the sunlight of it all.

I wanted to share this because I can be obsess over productivity – and compare ‘success’ and ‘accomplishment’ and ‘drive’ to the social media timelines of others. It doesn’t always look like we expect it to. This is my call to keep space in yourself for diversion and reflection. And a call to myself to stop waiting till I am sick to do so (ironically ill as I type this but hey, one step at a time).

The bridge between breakdown and breakthrough:

  • Yoga with Adrienne 3 times a week (as little as 10mins as much as 90min).dirty medics 1
  • Swimming for an hour a week under the stars.
  • Dancing every day (5min like a loon in the living room or 10 hours in the streets of Trinidad – ideally a range).
  • Letting my house mates distract me with Dobble, Jenga and gold fish funerals.
  • Letting the beautiful friends I make distract me; missions for coconut water, trips to the beach, conversations in the doorway, searching for something on Netflix to watch for an hour then watching nothing, rewatching Black Mirror and cycling down the motorway.
  • If a poem starts happening – from you or someone else, no matter how random or exhausted, let it.
  • Lying on the floor after yoga, and just being with myself (I can only actually do this whilst listening to James Blake).
  • Make Pie Charts for; what makes you happy, what you spend time on, what you want to spend time on, what stresses you out. E.g.:

IMG_0711 IMG_0713IMG_0712

  • Message your mum back on facebook.

Give some a go?

Lastly, I want to say thank you for the poets that let me into their work, the humans that let me into their lives and the families that let me into their homes. In terms of that time pie chart – I have learned the importance of keeping 5-10% of myself free to show the same generosity to others that has been shown to me by the beautiful people of Trinidad. I had a little cry on the plane for how overwhelmed by love, care and appreciation I feel.

Thank you. Let the hard work continue.

 

10min Writing a Day…

 

I am trying to write for 10mins a day at the moment. In fact I have a daily to do list on:

-Write.

-Practice spitting (as in emceeing on a beat).

-Exercise/stretch and or dance.

This is all in the name of seeing what happens if I commit the majority of my life to the research, rehearsal and creation of my art. I particularly liked what came out today on the Transgender day of Remembrance… thinking about gender, body ownership and other stuff… Feel free to give feedback or response poems if you like!

No one can finger you better than you can

Arvon Writing Aerobics 9. Why is mainstream poetry becoming more accepting of experimental poetry?

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Roger Poetry is dying a slow boring death, so we are going through a creative peak at the moment. It is really important to start things and make people come to you. Don’t be begging people for you, don’t be unsatisfied with one small square of the world, find the people that want your messages and send it to them. Don’t be a wondering generality, be a very strong specific. That is how you get through the noise and clutter. Don’t follow the herd completely, be yourself – you are enough.

Caroline Our revolution [in the UK] is just about due.

Arvon Writing Aerobics 8. How do you deal with professional rejection?

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Roger Being a writer is about rejection. If you are not about rejection you are probably not pitching enough or not aiming high enough. I had 36 rejections for my first poetry book and the only thing that kept me going was that my mentor had 38 and he said ‘don’t come to me till you get 38’. Until you get your first success it is really hard, writing is about perseverance and rejection. If you can’t persevere through rejection, don’t be a writer. You have to be consistently devoted to this thing.

Caroline Someone saying ‘I see you, keep doing it’ and who wants you to progress – keep going until you find that person. What is much more important than listening to rejection is listening to that person that understands what you are trying to do. Stopping is not an option.

Arvon Writing Aerobics 7. Is all Poetry Autobiography?

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Caroline The truth is not the facts. One of the reasons I started reading poetry is because I would try and write down everything that happened in my diary then read it back and think ‘that isn’t what happened’… the facts are the least important thing in a way, sometimes it is all about the texture. Often you need to find something hyper-real to talk about how it really truly felt. Anyone that asked if it’s really true is an idiot.

Your dreams are a life experience – all the cinema behind the curtains behind your eye lids are your experience.

Roger Some things are insignificant to some people but to you they are hyper significant. You have to make decisions about art; how you are starting, what goes next, what is the form and you have to know that you are doing it.

Arvon Writing Aerobics 6. How to negotiate between person goals, good poems and deadlines…

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Caroline I don’t feel like my poetry has to be working towards a deadline. Poems come from the middle of me.

Roger Poetry don’t make enough money to take on deadlines. Poetry is the thing I love. I could never write poetry to a deadline.

 

 

Arvon Writing Aerobics 5. When you’re writing humour, how do you know it is funny?

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Caroline – If a story isn’t funny, then it doesn’t feel real. If we feel something is really horrific then we will lean back and don’t invest, but if you can make the audience lean in then you can really punch them in the face. If you hold something horrific it is often too much for people so it is often about finding different ways to pull them in and then pack the hardest punch.

Arvon Writing Aerobics 4. How do you deal with the fear? The fear of an idea…

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Caroline You have to keep playing, the worse thing is when you say ‘THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT IDEA’, and it stops you going in the back door of the idea and exploring it. You have to keep playing and never be afraid of writing loads of rubbish because otherwise you are going to paralyse yourself that you need to say something right. You need to know that that nothingness is vital, rather than thinking there are so many answers here that I have to find. Let the idea go much further than you think it will.

Arvon Writing Aerobics 3. How do you know when a poem is done?

(Snippets of conversation with Mouthy Poets and writers Caroline Bird & Roger Robinson at Arvon Totleigh Barton, Tuesday 8th December 2015.)

Roger Any more and you will kill it, any less and it is not enough. It is kind of instinct, there has to be a point where I let it be.

Caroline  It is important to trust tomorrow’s eyes on it. Sometimes you are just not going to see something on one day. You have to enjoy it not being finished and feel like you need to crack it now. Isn’t it amazing that you can go around for a whole week thinking about one word? – there is something delicious about it. If you enjoy it not being finished you are much more likely to know when it’s done.