On not giving up your day job

photo: Noa Gfrerer
 It's slam poetry season in Adelaide and Australia. The Australian Poetry Slam competition is in full swing across the country, and I'm super-stoked to be one of two poets representing South Australia in the upcoming national final at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday October 21st.

There's a whole lot of open mic events that are going on around town too, so I've been getting along to those. But all this poetry performance, especially the competition, can feel quite ego-driven, which gets uncomfortable after a while. For me, then, it's important to ground myself and there's no better way to do that than to return to my day job with Tutti Arts, where I work part-time as an arts support worker, assisting artists with disabilities to make and create art; visual art, poetry and performance. Ego has to take a back seat in this role, patience is a virtue and humour paramount.

But that old question can resurface: Am I a 'real' writer if I'm not committed to it full time? The answer for me is a resounding 'yes'. I write, I'm a writer. Nevertheless, we all need proof that our choices and convictions are real, so I was glad to read this article, ''It's OK to Be a Writer and a ____ " about the multiple identities of writers. Like Laurie Patton, I too enjoy the balance of stepping away from writing and feeding myself with something else. It's taken me years to understand that these multiple selves are inspired by different things. Writing is lonely work, and I need the energy of people too, so working with people in a supportive role is really satisfying to me. It's also humbling. The abilities I have to walk, talk, read, eat and go to the toilet without having to ask for assistance are things I have learnt not to take for granted.  I recently read another article by a woman who experienced publishing success later in life and one of her pieces of advice was 'Don't resent your day job.' Too right, sister. Bloody good advice.

But back to ego! lol After the National Slam, I'll be performing at a Draw Your Swords event on Thursday October 25th in the Reading Room of the Barr Smith Library at Adelaide Uni (Greaaaaat space); and I've got a feature poet spot at MegaBear, Feast Festival with a whole bunch of other entertainers/musicians on November 23rd .. both promise to be a lot of fun .. you can find details at my LIVE PERFORMANCE page.  
Me n Sarah Jane Justice .. SA finals night       photo: Noa Gfrerer

And if you're looking for a space in which to do your own writing, I continue to facilitate creative writing sessions on the first Tuesday evening of every month at Mockingbird Lounge; and have recently begun doing the same at the Once and Again Book Cafe. Details of both can be found on the TEACHING & COLLABORATIONS page.

thanks for reading .. and keep on writing

Caroline x


robwalkerpoet said…
No need to worry Caroline. You’re a real writer.
Caroline Poet said…
he he .. thanks Rob