Saturday was our monthly workshop with Mimi Khalvati (tips to come in next post!)
I had some really useful feedback from everyone on the poem I took along, but still managed to leave feeling defeated. Why? Because the quality of my observations on other people’s work just seemed completely off. There’s no chance to backtrack or say any more once you’ve spoken, so each comment is like putting your neck on the block! I don’t suppose anyone except me noticed, but it paralysed me to the point that I felt I had nothing worth saying. I left thinking that perhaps I just knew sod-all about poetry and should stop deluding myself!
But of course these moments are sent to try us. After a day or two of despondency and talking it over with a good poet friend I’m feeling better.
I also watched this TED talk about how body language affects not only how others see us but how we feel about ourselves – and started to realise the part played by my own defeatist posture…when I should be doing this:
Maybe this is the answer! Imagine ‘power posing’ through the next workshop, if you’re feeling a teensy bit intimidated…you know it makes sense – forget all those long silences, the crossed-legs-hugging-yourself, that hunching over poems and talking into your lap. No touching your hair as you speak or mumbling apologetically.
Sit back and pretend you’re a movie mogul. Stand up and place your hands assertively on the table! And next time you feel a moment of doubt coming on, stick those victory arms up in the air and give it a big YEEESSS!!