Author of three collections published by Doire Press, in 2016 - 2018 Susan's poems have appeared, among elsewhere, in: The Cafe Review, Oregan, USA - Gather In, in a Special Irish Edition; Bosom Pals,Ed Marie Cadden (Doire Press, 2017) an anthology entirely in aid of Breast Cancer Research in the National UniveristyHospital, Galway and When They've Grown Another Me in Poetry Ireland Review, Dec 2018. January 2018 has seen her poems Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Competition.

She has been an invited reader of her poems at local readings in Galway, Cork and Dublin and at festivals, including the Belfast Book Festival, Cuirt International Festival of Literature and Clifden Arts Festival. Her poems have been read on radio.

Susan completed her degree in social science and qualified as a professional social worker in Trinity College, Dublin 1975. She was a psychotherapist, trainer, facilitator and occasional consultant to organisations for over thirty years until her retirement in 2012. Drawing together her writing with her earlier skills she has written interviews and facilitated conversations mediated by poetry. She continues to work on a manuscript relating the story of starting out in poetry and a mid-life move West along with occasional other creative non-fiction pieces.

Her workshop Having a New Conversation: About Dreaming was listed on the The Cuirt International Festival of Literature Programme (2015) and she facilitates similar workshops on a variety of themes, discussed through the medium of poetry, regularly and occasionally in local community settings.

While a founding editor of Skylight 47 Susan interviewed: then Ireland Professor of Poetry, Harry Clifton; Kay Ryan, former US Poet Laureate invited to Ireland by Dromineer Literature Festival and Dani Gill who talks about curating The Cuirt International Literature Festival. Her most recent interview, of Maeve O'Sullivan, appears in The Honest Ulsterman February, 2018.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Cupcakes, Blogging, Poetry and Sleep – Build a Sustainable Blog and Lifestyle.

Notes from An Apprentice Verse-Maker (4)

We may not all want – or have the expertise and experience – to blog about cupcakes and style, however we may enjoy both or either.  But Jeff Haden’s interview with Emily Schuman, author of the highly successful business that her Cupcakes and Cashmere blog has become, has a lot to say to anyone seriously interested in writing a blog and building a sustainable following.

If literature and poetry is your thing, Cupcakes and Cashmere may seem a little frivolous and the best-selling book of the same name further evidence that a large Market Share is inevitably not for you. An argument I dispute – at least to the same extent it is held to be true.

Best-selling poetry Anthologies such as those edited by Bloodaxe UK publisher, Neil Astley, are among the poetry books that have given the lie to the suggestion that poetry isn’t for everyone or won’t be loved by many who haven’t yet found it accessible. By accessible I don’t mean easy to understand, I mean the poetry flag found and followed because it stands out among the clamour of flag-flying products and services vying for attention. There is always poetry easy to understand amid the intrigue of greater challenges. In the midst of all the clamour poetry is a refuge you can bring home – more immediately accessible (time-wise and geographically), by click, purchase or browse than the restorative power of any Spa, beauty product, cupcake or other splurge - although it can as equally complement as provide an alternative to all of those.

The poetry anthology or collection by your bed is the best night-time dip you’ll find on those nights sleep is determined to elude you or your mind is humming with events properly belonging to day-time. One sound, image or penny-dropping melt leads to another. You are diverted and captivated. How come, someone has captured in a few lines the distress you’ve been secretly hoarding, or your obsessional hidden desire? How do poets do that?

If that doesn’t do it, you can give your attention to learning a few lines by heart. You’ve toned your brain, given your imagination a quick fix and taken ‘time-out', it’s probably  time to settle down and go back to sleep. Those lines repeated to yourself, an oasis you instil in your brain for the future as you drift away, will easily win out against counting sheep.  Even better, a poem or two before bedtime can become an essential de rigueur transition between digital drives, the obligations of daytime and night-time peace. There cannot be a better way to obey the strictures of sleep experts and build a bed-time routine that prepares the body for sleep. If the pages do become a little damp and curled because you can’t resist dipping while in the bath then, there is nothing to worry about. Any book is better damp than dry-leaved and closed.

Emily Schuman adjures bloggers hoping to build a successful business to

       ‘Be patient…success will most likely come slowly, if at all’.
       ‘Be authentic and learn to differentiate yourself’.

She reminds her audience that

        ‘…creating original talent…will take a lot of your time’.

Warns against
        ‘...sacrificing quality over content. Your audience will be built on trust and the entertainment      
        value you provide. If your quality slips, so will they.’

Warns against,

        ‘…taking every offer that comes your way. (Advertising offers! You wish.) At first it’s very
        tempting to accept ….ultimately, it degrades your credibility if you become an advocate for
        anyone willing to pay you.’

Now, why does that sound more convincing coming from that source than it did when I heard it from poets and artists?

Start Blogging, Start a Business, and Build an Authentic… -
Bestselling author and successful entrepreneur Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere on building a thriving business.

An Interview by Jeff Haden

Other relevant websites are:

No comments:

Post a Comment