Answers to Kit's questions:
So if you'll indulge me in turning the question upside down –
What does it mean to be an artist or poet and not do it every day/not show it to the world every day?
a) not do it every day
To not write every day - or on some regular and reasonable basis - feels like a farce. To share with people that I am a writer/a poet, knowing I am not actually writing to speak of, makes me feel like a fraud. It undoes me. How can I stand before an audience reading all work from the past or stand before a workshop group talking about how they might write/how I write, when I am not writing. It undoes me.
Sometimes not writing to speak of, is my life. (Though sometimes then I push a lot of existing poems out for publication and that is after all part of it.)
Writing is a risky business. It’s a lot like bungee jumping. I have always said I would never bungee jump. But I write. Not writing feels like being in the bungee jump queue but never getting the chance to jump.
b) not show it to the world every day?
‘Showing to the world' sometimes feels like standing on the bungee jump platform shouting look at me - look at me even when you are afraid you will land flat on your face or break both ankles. In this daily practice public project where there is often the exposure of work in progress, drafts, scratchings etc it feels like being pushed off the bungee jump platform, ready or not. This doesn’t stop me writing. It’s a separate question for me.
Is there something extreme about what we're doing?
Yes it feels like extreme sports. For example, bungee jumping.
Is there a politics of this?
Yes I feel like a politician - saying bungee jumping is good for our health when I know it might break our ankles.
Yes it generates a phobia about bungee jumping.
It also generates a sense of community and egalitarianism. (As another who is completely outside the university world.)
Were we just born this way?
I’m an introvert by nature (it seems) and maybe circumstance too, who has learnt how to be an extrovert. When I started going to poetry readings and saw how much fun some of the poets had on stage, I thought I’d like a bit of that fun and worked hard for it. I’ve had great times thanks to poetry, but there are many days when I can’t bungee jump.
What are we about?
I may come back with more serious answers for some questions - need to think more.