I crave a routine, but I don’t have one, yet. I like to write alone, but I’m not able to, yet. My boyfriend has just moved into the studio flat that I’m subletting so we’re always in the same room. Most days I’m not writing poems, I’m earning money – doing tarot readings, editorial work, interviewing tattoo artists, assessing creative manuscripts etc. When I’m not earning money, I’m working on the PhD that I’m doing. I’m right at the beginning stage though, it’s only my first semester so it’s still incredibly thrilling. All of this work comes before writing poems, which is my absolute favourite thing to do.
I’m not a morning person. I don’t rise at 5am like all writers are supposed to do. I go to sleep late, and I wake up late (unless I have early work meetings). I’m a night owl, even my name means ‘night time’ in Sanskrit. After my multiple work assignments, I find time to meditate, go for a chilly walk on Tempelhofer Feld (which is five minutes away from the flat), listen to self-help podcasts, and to watch trashy British reality shows. Most of these things happen after 8pm, these are the things I do to keep balanced, and they manage to keep me busy into the early hours of the morning.
I wasn’t always a freelancer. I wrote the majority of my first poetry collection You Found a Beating Heart while I was living in Brighton, UK. I was working full-time at Brighton & Hove Council as well as doing a NCTJ in Multimedia Journalism. I wrote my second poetry collection Black & White Dream in an entirely different way. I was living in Kreuzberg, Berlin, and had just quit an unfulfilling job at a TV Production Company. I had a gorgeous blank space of time stretching out before me. I pretty much didn’t leave my flat for three months, which was helped along by the harsh Berlin winter. All I did was write poems, they were aching to get out of me. It was easy. Looking back at this time in my life, it seems grossly luxurious. Poetry-only days don’t happen anymore. But I do sometimes manage to scribble down a stream of consciousness. This is my way into writing a poem. I favour a psychoanalytical free writing approach. It’s always cool to see what nuggets of weirdness I can draw out from my subconscious.
Nisha Bhakoo is a British poet and editor. She is currently working on a PhD on the Uncanny within contemporary poetry at Humboldt University. Her poems, which explore gothic ideas, have been published in literary magazines internationally. She has also made poetry films that have been exhibited in the UK and Germany. Her first poetry collection, , was published by The Onslaught Press in 2016. Her second poetry collection, , will be published on 31 October 2018 by Broken Sleep Books. She is currently co-editing Gothic Poems with Charlotte Geater, for the Emma Press.