24 March 2008

happy birthday WOAW! - a speech

a year ago to the day, i posted my first entry on WORDS ON A WATCH. it was my third day as what i called 'a full-time writer'. i liked to call me that, and had to, too, as i had just fled from an employment contract i had only signed three weeks earlier. i was stranded in munich, with barely any friends in town, yet with six months of time at my hands. after these six months, i thought, i would know whether i had what it takes to succeed as a poet and author. by the time i'd be moving to london, i thought, i would hold in my hands the first finished draft of a novel. how to achieve these goals, however, was a mystery to me, and even when i started writing my entry for FM4's Wortlaut 2007, i didn't think one minute i could stand a chance to win. after all, i had confused the 'character' and 'word' counts and was working straight towards a deadline that was actually only set for six weeks after when i thought. perhaps you can imagine how bizarre it seems to me that now, as i am writing this, i'm one of five member's of this year's Wortlaut final jury, together with people like kathrin passig and thomas meinecke.

in munich, when i couldn't sleep at night, i translated poetry, and all i ever thought about during the days were names for characters and plots and subplots. now, here in london, when i can't sleep at night i just lie there and wonder whether i should take the risk again; the risk (and luxury) of moving to some remote place like triberg in the middle of the black forest, that has always had this wicked appeal to me. on a more realistic note, berlin, too, is still very enticing. and not only for its literary scene and all my friends at lauter niemand, that is.

in any case, making myself heard throughout the last year, even if on a comparatively small scale, and receiving feedback on my work, has changed me as a person. i have become aware of the fact that it's not only other people's lives that are different from mine, but that my own life can get very different from what i have known it to be, ever so nice, incomprehensible.

WOAW through the months has served as a pillar, a platform, but also as a chair circle, really, with you guys listening and talking back to me whenever you felt the need. i'd like things to remain just like that, wild and free, if you want, and hope this is ok with you.

from the inky depths of my pen-shaped heart, i thank you for watching the words here with me.


Anonymous said...

herzlichen glückwunsch words on a watch!!! es ist mir eine ehre dich auf diesem weg auf einen kaffee getroffen zu haben und wenn du eines tages berühmt bist werde ich diese geschichte wieder und wieder erzählen. ich wünsche dir weiterhin viel erfolg und hoffe wir begegnen uns wieder. auf dass 2008 ein weiteres schönes wordsonawatch-jahr wird.

Annina said...

lieber ken, unbedingt, die ehre war, ist und bleibt ganz meinerseits!! in der hoffnung auf gute gedichte und mehr kaffee, schick ich poetische gruesse nach mainz - email folgt! :)

Anonymous said...

they grow up so fast. blogs i mean. before you know it you will be sitting up wondering what it is doing staying out so late.
or blogs and hearts i mean.

keep doing THINGS