359 - Cut a length of wood into pieces. Maybe squared off-cuts. Now, feel the edges, don't sand the wood or file it down. The roughness is how your poems should feel. A poem when raw is ten times a poem that is polished.

If you find you cannot pick yourself up when you fall then your life is too heavy. Cut away the loose parts and tighten up who you are. When you stand again you will be fitter for the course.

A friend is a person who understands who you are. If there is ever a moment when that comes into conflict, you are only mates. I am a quiet person, an introvert, some days I can liven up. I enjoy my silence. I have no need to constantly talk. Being myself is more important to me than satisfying others.

For every rejection I have, is another window to open. I have learnt to allow the winds go through my world and blow themselves away. Yes, we all want hope and admiration for what we do, but you cannot let a storm live inside you. How are you meant to breathe if you do?

A poem is a moment in someone's life. As poet's we are creating history. Every poet needs to be read. Every poem they have written is a chance to see what they were feeling at the moment. It's a stamp of a few seconds. A poet may only write a few minutes of their entire life, even if they write a 1000 poems. But each one is important. We stamp our life onto this planet with words. Musicians are the same, and philosophers. Be proud you're a poet. You're giving life, a life.


If you knew your whole life before you had got there how would you feel emotion? Take everything that hits you as a test of character. No one asks questions when things are going well, why should we questions when things are going bad?

The poem I write today is the poem I develop three months from now. All new poems are scratches. Give each one time and then see what happens when you get to see them again.

If I was right as much as I was wrong I would have a quicker life. Sometimes it's good to be wrong. As long as you learn and realise why you are wrong. If you think you're always in the right, do something wrong on purpose. See how liberating it can be.

I used to give up on poems that didn't get published. Now I have learnt to leave them for months on end. Change a title, stanzas, add some words, delete some words. As longs as the skeleton is still there it doesn't harm changing the meaty parts. Never give up on what you have. What I know today I probably knew five years ago, but didn't see it.

Each day we change, it may only be a millimetre. If you look back where you were at twenty, thrity, forty and so forth you will see as a person you are different. This is why knowing yourself and realising life experiences is important for understanding your poetry. You have to realise that big changes in your life between redrafting poems may move you further away from the initial drafts. We may think a poem changes over time but it's us that change. We move as people in such a subtle way that we don't even realise it. A poem I write today and redraft three months from now is going to be seen so differently. At times during this earth experience we have quiet times. It can go on for months. If that is the case then your poems may only need a tweak as you as a person have only changed a few centimietres. If something big happens, like a death of a loved one, redundancy, ill health, divorce, marriage, birth of a child, moving home, lottery win, then the poem will have a bigger change because you will have changed by hundreds of centimetres.

We're all being tugged by a boat to the next life and beyond. You may not feel it but over time you will see it. Try and be in charge of these changes. Hopefully, you will see your poems better when redrafting.  

As poets we all nudge each other. As a poet it's hugely important to read as many poets as possible. I don't like terms such as - best, better, like or dislike - of poets and their work. Buy peoples books and read them. See what door or window they open in your mind. See where they nudge you to.

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You can view a tower from miles away or walk right up to it and stare up to the top. But unless you walk the steps inside, you will never know what you can see from it. Sometimes a bit of hard work can open your mind that much more.

If you want to know a person see what weather they can endure on a walk. And you may be surprised that someone who likes the rain is a better person than someone who is a fair weather type. Be careful of people who come across as being soft.

Opinions create debate that then create thinking that leads to being more creative. Don't be afraid to share your opinion. Be proud but also accessible to what others have to say. As long as you don't believe everything you say is right then you can keep having an opinion. It will get you further than standing there and letting others rule your thoughts.

How you step out of bed is going to determine your day. Be brave, stretch and yawn before getting up, then make that first step a good one full of confidence and strength. The last step as you enter the bed make it light and thoughtful.

Being a poet is a way of life. But writing is a job.

Jumping to conclusions is one of my worst traits. Sometimes I have the dial too high when I cook food. I need to turn that down as well as myself. Knowing things may take longer but will be better to deal with when I sit.

If I couldn't be myself on this planet then who can I be? Pleasing others is the worst way to live. It's better to be liked by a few than you yourself liking many for the sake of it.

My mistakes splinter my life. Never shave these down. As all you will do is repeat them again months later. You will do mistakes for the rest of your life but do new ones. I would rather a 1000 mistakes than one being repeated a 1000 times.

Poetry is needed more now than ever. Society today is too shallow. Hence, people have no time to read poetry as it's too deep. We have created a planet where everything is quick and can be replaced. The reasoning of thought has left our minds. Poetry makes people think. If we use our brains with more depth we look after our lives better. There was a time when making the most of what you had was important. For some reason that has been diluted. Read and write poetry. It gives you a sense of hope and thought. And then makes you realise your own shallow life and you will take care of your world much better.

Always look people in the eye. If they drop theirs then you need to be careful with what's behind their back. A relationship is built on eye-contact.

The last few months have been tough. The last three years have been tough. But I believe there's a point to all of it. Some days I get lost and struggle through. Then there are days when I battle with everything I have. I don't stop because I may deserve bad luck, I carry on to create my own good luck. You can fill the glass yourself.

Whenever I meet someone I alwasy try and see the human being first. What successful people do with their lives is down to character, talent, outlook, consistency and having doors opened for them. The more you do the more things happen. If you knock doors some will eventually open. It's all about hard work. But, we're not all like that. Some are happy being themselves and living a routine sort of life. Not everyone wants to nurture their talents or find out if they have one. Underneath anyone's success is their human side. I am not the sort of person to give instant respect because someone has done somethng amazing or different with their life. A famous person is only known by more people. Take care of the people that love you and you love. If some big name pops up sometime see what they're like as a human first before giving praise and thinking your below them. Most of the time you are not.