Author Archives: Tom Jeram-West

The beach at Southsea at sunset

It’s OK that rest and relaxation may not be part of your routine

I originally published this post on the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium‘s Website in January 2017 as part of the PortsConsort Postcard series.

There’s great pressure to approach January rested, relaxed, renascent, rejuvenated… And whatever other benign R-word you can think of. Retromingent, perhaps? No. Probably not. Many manage to achieve this, after a week or so away from the desk and the pressures of the nine to five and some are raring to get back to the routine. Huh. More R-words.

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February 2017 calendar

Metablog – February 2017

February was a bit of a damp month, both figuratively and literally. I found myself working only on bits and pieces; whilst I enjoy working on bits and pieces, I can’t say I enjoy having only worked on bits and pieces. I also enjoy both saying and typing ‘bits and pieces’.

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January 2017 calendar

Metablog – January 2017

Welcome to what I call the metablog. I started writing these posts on my personal blog to serve as a diary of sorts about my experiences writing it – hence the name. As the months went by, they became more of a general commentary on my creative activities and my creative processes as I was writing less often. I made the decision to move them to The Five to Nine as I started this project specifically to explore and interrogate creativity and creative practices – my own, as well as others’ – and so feel that these sit better here.

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A selection of magazines stacked on a desk.

Closing one door before opening another – goodbye, Threadbare Magazine.

In my first post for The Five to Nine, I spoke a little about not being particularly certain about the direction I wanted to take as I worked towards building a portfolio career in the creative industries. Well, there was once a time when I had quite a good idea of what I wanted to do. I was certain that, if I managed it, I would be living The Dream – my dream. It became clear that this dream wasn’t going to come true quite quickly, but I held on to the smallest piece of hope for five years. I clutched it to myself with such ferocity that it exhausted me. It drained me. This piece of hope became corrupted, and I ended up miserable and afraid for what would become of me because this dream didn’t come true, but I didn’t want to let go of it because I was even more scared of what it would mean if I did. Well, on 26 June 2016, nearly five years to the day since the idea came to me in a burst of inspiration and excitement, I suddenly let go. I’d not planned it; it just happened. And it felt good. Actually, it felt great. No – even more: the whole experience was formidable.

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A selection of writing implements on a desk.

How do I start building my career in the creative industries?

I remember when I first thought about a career in the creative industries, and what shape that might take – and part of me thinks I should feel some modicum of embarrassment or shame in admitting this, but I can’t bring myself to feel either these days. Mind you, there’s no pride in it, either; it’s simply a fact, part of my history, and if I start rewriting that in order to present myself to people as the kind of person to whom I think they’ll respond, then there’s no point in, well… Anything. Starting with honesty, as accurate and complete as memory will allow, is really the only way to start this story.

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