Embracing Sleepless Nights

Embracing Sleepless Nights

Jan 18, 2023

When the sun sets and the world grows quiet, my mind becomes a whirlwind of thoughts, unable to rest. As the owner of a small press, my days are consumed by the vibrant world of poetry. But it's during these late hours, as the 'presses' fall silent, that I find myself wrestling with the weight of the work that lies ahead. Switching off my brain has never been my strong suit. Once I embark on a project, my mind shifts into overdrive, often leaving me with only a few hours of sleep before the world awakens (thank goodness for those evening shifts at the care home).

At the end of last year, I made a promise to my partner, vowing to take on fewer individual poets this year and transition from a quarterly journal to a bi-annual publication. Yet, it's incredibly challenging to resist the allure of the remarkable poetry that awaits, and I sometimes find myself caught in the occasional fear of missing out when it comes to showcasing the work of debut authors. Moreover, I have a knack for neglecting to charge adequately for my time when I'm hired as an editor or designer, often finding myself counselling poets for hours on end—an idiosyncrasy that drives my boyfriend to the brink of insanity.

However, the process of transforming a poet's words into a tangible book is an unparalleled experience. There's an indescribable joy that washes over me when I hold the finished product in my hands, recognizing the integral role I played in bringing it to life. It's a gift—a gift not just for the author, but for me as well. It's a celebration of the arduous labour and unwavering dedication that went into its creation.

This journey is a far cry from the days when I wrote poetry as a means of grappling with frustration and pain. Back then, the notion of my words gracing the pages of a book seemed unfathomable. Truth be told, had I not taken those initial steps into the world of publishing, my poetry would likely still be gathering dust, forgotten. While I may not claim the title of the world's greatest writer, self-publishing my own words granted me the invaluable experience needed to assist others in realizing their dreams of seeing their work in print.

And so, as I lie here, wide awake, insomnia tugging at my thoughts, a sense of gratitude permeates my being. This restlessness serves as a poignant reminder that I am engaged in something that stirs my soul, something that holds profound meaning for me. I can't help but question whether there exists a greater privilege than this—a privilege to publish poetry and empower others to share their voices with the world. It's a gift I cherish deeply, and I am humbled to be able to fulfil it each and every day.

The journey of a small press owner with a day job is filled with sleepless nights, relentless passion, and an unyielding commitment to the art of poetry. It is a labour of love that intertwines the responsibilities of my professional life with the boundless possibilities of the publishing world. And as I navigate this delicate balance, I am reminded of the extraordinary privilege that accompanies each step I take. The opportunity to ignite the spark of poetry in the hearts of others and help them unveil their words to the world is a gift beyond measure.

So, I will continue to embrace these sleepless nights, for they serve as a testament to my purpose and the unquenchable fire that fuels my endeavours. And I am eternally grateful for the chance to embark on this extraordinary journey—a journey where poetry thrives, dreams come to life, and the magic of words forever dances on the pages of the books I hold dear.

With boundless gratitude,

Becks

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