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New Year, new intentions

I’m a big fan of yoga teacher Adriene Mischler, whose ‘home practice’ videos I’ve been following for about six months. I’ve just started her latest ’30 Days of Yoga’ series and she talks at the beginning about ‘setting an intention’. I really like that idea – rather than New Year’s resolutions, how about setting some intentions? It feels more intimate somehow, more inclusive, kinder on oneself.

I have a number of intentions in mind – encompassing writing, blogging, giving myself permission, looking after myself, all the usual things I suppose. A poet friend tells me the ‘Guide to getting published in magazines’ that took up so much of my time recently was yet another ‘displacement activity’ distracting me from writing poetry. He may have a point. I seem to have some deep down belief that writing poetry is the ultimate indulgence and I’m not sure I deserve to do too much of it, especially when other projects present themselves.*

So, with all this in mind, I’ve already signed up for a fortnightly workshopping group led by the excellent Katy Evans-Bush, which I’m hoping will boot me out of my comfort zone. I’m intending to start a poem a week, and am looking forward to reading Jo Bell’s wise words on the subject. I haven’t yet done my annual stock-take of submissions and rejections but I know I’ve had a lazy year on that front. (Details to come!) On the other hand I’ve enjoyed giving readings. I’ve two more coming up very soon – at Reading Poet’s Cafe this coming Friday 11th January, and next month at Buzzwords Cheltenham. All very exciting and fun, and incentive to really work on delivering a strong set.

*OK, I’ve literally just been over to Katy Evans-Bush’s blog and read the entire chronicle of her last nine months or so, being made homeless by criminally bad landlords and how she’s now putting her life back together, and I feel ashamed of all my hand-wringing ‘oh I don’t allow myself to write poems, I need to be kinder on myself’ etc etc. I live a comfortable, charmed life and one of my intentions is now to remind myself of that every single day. Happy New Year!


Published inAngstBlogEventsInspiration


  1. Grainne Grainne

    That ‘ always someone worse off than yourself’ thing is very valuable, as long as you notice it and it isn’t just used by an ill-wisher to tell you off. Must have a look at her blog now. I too have a million displacement activities. Yeats said, ‘All things can tempt me from this craft of verse’ and he surely knew.

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Hi Grainne – love that quote from Yeats!

      • Gráinne Tobin Gráinne Tobin

        Yeats went on ‘… Once it was a woman’s face, or worse, /The seeming needs of my fool-driven land’.

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Robin Houghton 2021