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You stick to the routines you have set up, notebook observations, voracious reading, sending the work out to mags, even going to readings, but nothing seems to stick, or to work. You don’t know it, but you’re dry, writing and reading on empty.

Then one day you come across a poet you have not heard about before. There’s a review about her. A blog post on the site of the publisher. Three of her poems seem to knock you flat. (You’re a fan of the work of the translator).

Within a week the book is in your hands. You find some more blog posts. Mostly you go with the gut feeling that is now coursing in waves across every part of your body, tip to toe, with pleasure.

Oddly, you notice your notebook entries are beginning to brighten. Not in terms of content necessarily. But they are sharper, they have more bounce.

From nowhere, a poem gets accepted (the runt of the litter, the one you put in at the last minute, isn’t that the way?). You find you are still writing, but now it is with flow, like an athlete hitting full stride after months of winter training.

You can’t stop yourself. You begin to sense your life is going into your work in ways you haven’t seen before, in ways you think no one will notice but yourself. You keep this to yourself, like a folded banknote.

No one can take any of this away from you. You are writing. You don’t know what you are doing, or even if it is any good, but you are writing. It is the best feeling in the world.