Everything But the Writing: Balancing Poetry Life with Jane Commane

Everything But the Writing: Balancing Poetry Life with Jane Commane

Consider what best practice might look like and explore different approaches to work-life balance as a poetry professional.

Leading a life with poetry at its centre can feel like cooking a recipe with many complicated ingredients. We want to create new work and – hopefully – enjoy writing. To build on our poetry, we need to edit work, perform it, or possibly send it out to magazines, publishers, and competitions. Perhaps we’re involved in a writer’s group, or mentoring other poets. There are always too many emails to answer. And of course, most poets have another job, to ensure there’s food on the table and the bills are paid.

How can we create balance between all these activities, ensuring that we have time to read, write, edit (and be creative without pressures of ‘success’ – whatever that may look like)? Which tasks do we prioritise to defend our creative time? And when and why do we say ‘No!’ to make sure we don’t end up both cash- and time-poor?

In this session, we’ll consider how we can maintain a good balance, manage pressures and disappointments, and identify how to make change in order to maintain a healthy relationship with our creativity.

There are 2 options for attending this session, with it running in-person at Somerset House (10.30am to 1pm on 18 February), or on Zoom (2.30–5pm on 21 February). You can choose which option you would prefer at the next stage of the booking process.

This session is part of our CPD series Inspiration to Invoicing: Business Skills for Poets, the full schedule for which you can see below:

Everything But the Writing: Balancing Poetry Life with Jane Commane – 18/21 February
Don’t Duplicate, Diversify: Networks & Activism with Hannah Hodgson – 18 February
Rooting Yourself: Creative & Peer Support, with Caleb Parkin & Nathalie Teitler – 25/28 February
Shop Front: Building A Poet’s Profile with Dzifa Benson – 25 February / 2 March
Forms: Finance, Funding & Not-Getting Rich Quick with Emma Simon – 4/7 March
Being Busy, or Making Progress? Professional Support with Nick Makoha – 4/9 March

To book one or multiple specific sessions, please click the session(s) you would like to attend in the list above and add them to your basket. If you attend multiple sessions in the series, you will receive a bundle discount, with a lower per session cost the more you sign up for. Here are the bundle pricing options:

1 session: £50
2 sessions: £95
3 sessions: £135
4 sessions: £170
5 sessions: £200
6 sessions: £225

Please purchase the sessions you would like to attend, and we will refund you the difference between the full cost you have paid and the bundle pricing within two weeks of your booking. Alternatively, please contact us directly by emailing [email protected] to arrange payment for a bundle pricing option.

Our concessionary discounts are also available on all bundle options. To apply for a concession, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here.

If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]

Image Credit: Nathan Dumlao

About Jane Commane View Profile

Jane Commane was born in Coventry and lives and works in Warwickshire. Her first full-length collection, Assembly Lines, was published by Bloodaxe in 2018, and was longlisted for the 2019 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize for a distinctive first book of poetry. Her poetry has featured in anthologies including The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt Publishing) and Staying Human (Bloodaxe) as well as in The Guardian, Butcher’s Dog and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal. In 2016, she was chosen to join Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 writer development programme, and in 2017 she was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. Jane is director and editor at Nine Arches Press, co-editor of Under the Radar magazine and is co-author (with Jo Bell) of How to Be a Poet, a creative writing handbook.

'Writing can feel a bit like being lost in the wilderness. Becoming a part of a community of fellow writers is so important in building confidence and discovering ways to sustain and develop a writing practice.'

- Spring 2021 survey response

Related Courses