the re-positioned moi

Bear with me. I’m not working now so I’m very busy; it’s been one of those weeks. Right now I’m hard at work on a new professional blog, which will aim to do for the world of PR & copywriting what this one has done for – well – poetry and me, really. Cover them in a Baroque film. Though the new blog will not be Baroque (very).

I’m not saying now what it will be. You have to wait and find out. It’s very exciting.

Picture me, burning the midnight screen. There I am, envisioning my vision and valuing my brand values at 9pm – briefing an illustrator at 10pm – figuring out CSS editing at 11pm – paying WordPress £10 a year for the privilege at 11.15pm, learning to use CSS colour systems at 11.55pm… and all this on top of a gruelling two hours or more of grim-faced copy-&-pasting! And that’s on top of the tireless days of brainstorming and googling that went into thinking of a title. I’ve filled sheets and sheets of paper with puns on the word “copy,” rhymes for “paste,” variants on anything to do with language and communication. CommuniKate, anyone? Comma Chameleon? Lingua, Frankly? I thought not.

Then there were the solid days and days of obsessively reading PR blogs, which of course also fed into my positioning. “Positioning” is a fancy word that means taking a good, hard look at yourself and calling it like you see it, with only the merest touch of aspiration thrown in; you need to put yourself on a path where you really can walk the walk. But it has to have a great view, and preferably some steep precipices.

The problem is that what I’m now doing is what I should have been doing in some sensible, grasshopper-like, tortoise-like way over the past five months, after work – but I have been, frankly, too shagged out to even think straight so Aesop has got me bang to rights. This situation has been looming all along – but once you start messing with websites you really do need large swathes of time, it isn’t the kind of thing you can do in an hour here and an hour there. (I read somewhere recently, in one of these self-help or PR-related places, something like: “You are very wonderful indeed, but you are not actually superhuman…” This is going to have to go into my positioning. I’m just a “Writer Who Can’t Say No.”)

So I did mean to write your yesterday’s Elegantly Dressed Wednesday post! Honest I did. I even had a picture all lined up. And I have been reading the news. We do keep up here. I know the Forward Prize shortlist has been announced. I know it contains only one woman on the main list and that’s Sharon Olds (puh-leese), and I know that the first collection list includes one American book that I can remember buying in a Connecticut shopping mall in 2007! Sorry, all you British poets with first collections just out this year. I know that, following Jen Hadfield’s win of last year’s TS Eliot Prize, Don Paterson is the youngest person on this list, at 45. And The Australian was happy because there are two shortlisted Australians. But I promised someone already that I wouldn’t blog it. Doh!

I know that Me, Cheetah has outrageously bumped Antonia Byatt off the Booker longlist. I know, I know. What are we coming to.

I know my intrepid publishers, Salt, have launched another phase of their Just One Book campaign, which I did in mitigation link on Facebook. Buy a book! Gwaaan!

On a more personal, leisure-time sort of note, there was my BFI and almost-infant Goons outing on Monday night, which was very exciting. And a pub quiz on Tuesday! (We came sixth. But I impressed myself so much I nearly blacked out by guessing correctly the cover of an album by Melanie.) So I have had some time off… Maybe I’ll do an Elegantly Dressed Friday for you tomorrow; set us all up for the weekend.

Once I’ve got this new blog under control I’m going to re-do my website so it makes sense. Then I’ll launch them both, and my career, properly, and it’ll be Party Time in Baroque Mansions! Oh YES. Canapés and dinner jazz all round, baby.

I’m prescribing myself three poems a day while all this is going on. To read, I mean. Otherwise insanity could ensue.

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