August newsletter - The News in Poetry, Reflections of a Runaway and Access All Areas
Here's my latest newsletter which I send out to those that have supported my work. May as well plonk it on here.
en Westwood update –NEW - The News in Poetry, Reflections of a Runaway and Access All Areas.
You can watch a video of this newsletter on Youtube @ https://youtu.be/CzyY9Cv1jxs Or on Facebook at - https://www.facebook.com/1324280031024013/videos/1521669288200471
(Huge thanks for any shares on YT or FB)
Hello lovelies, hope you’re all having a fantastic summer. Just thought I’d let you all know what’s been going on in the Ben-den recently - and I’m also hoping to pull your sleeves for some teeny-tiney favours from you too.
Before I go on, here are my latest recent project releases.
Just do it (New music release)
Reunification (New Music release)
Watch out for my first ever ‘proppa’ podcast coming soon, where I’m hosted by Jill and George from the Onrecord Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbySt38csVzV1oI5k4PoSAw/videos
Firstly, I’ve got a whole heap of new projects I’d really love to start. I’ll be explaining later how I need your help to pull this off but I’ve been really inspired to write more poetry after being commissioned by the Foundling Museum in London for the Quentin Blake ‘Gifted’ exhibition which is currently open to the public until September 26th. You can read my poem ‘The Giant Magic Tree’ at https://www.benwestwooduk.com/post/thegiantmagictree
Access All Areas website.
Currently in beta-mode and money raised from subscriptions will be used to help improve the site and it’s usability.
Sign up at https://www.benwestwooduk.com/betasub
After some long thought, I’ve decided to launch an Access All Areas website, which in a nutshell is a subscription service similar to Patreon where supporters of my work can help contribute and in return they get special access to content before it hits the public arena as well as other perks.
There are three main reasons for me doing this.
1. Poetry and public speaking momentum
Despite getting my story to safeguarding and fostering events, European Parliament with Missing Children Europe and even on the radio – I guess it’s easy to forget myself that behind the scenes it’s me doing nearly all the marketing, press releases, websites and admin etc for this. Perhaps I’m not as up to speed as a lot of today’s millennials – but I really don’t know how people do it all!
Since the release of Poems From a Runaway and in my efforts to get it out to a wider audience, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to market it and perhaps failing a little somewhat at it.
Despite the impression some people may have, book sales for me are extremely rare and few and far between, like 2 sales a month is lucky for me. Perhaps if I’d have been a traditionally published author this wouldn’t be the case. Who knows?
But I’d really like to crack on with writing more poetry and get better at my public speaking. I don’t think it would take me long at all, but again these things take time and without going all-in on this, I doubt you’d see much of me on here to be honest, but I’m going to give it a go for anyone that wants to support my work and help me improve as a writer, poet, public speaker and advocate for runaways, children in care and those experiencing homelessness.
2. Paying the bills.
It’s often a tough decision whether BenWestwoodUK.com is worth it personally for me when I worry about paying bills such as web hosting fees etc when they come in.
Also though, every project I do takes time and my ultimate focus. I guess with anything it’s easy to overlook how much work actually goes into something until you’re there doing it yourself. Even this newsletter is taking some time for me to craft.
Sure, the world doesn’t owe me a living but still, I have to be honest here and say if there’s any interest or demand in what I do then I really need to establish even a small basic sense of financial stability instead of living off food-vouchers and handouts – or going hungry whilst doing an interview ect on the same day. That is how much of this journey has been so far and a huge thanks to those that have been aware of my struggles and slipped me a tenner once or twice here and there, this simply wouldn’t have happened without it.
3. lack of social media visibility.
I’m hoping that with regular content and monthly newsletters, that some of you will like what I put out and even give it a share on social media.
Being able to afford to regularly boost my posts from time to time will also help, so again, a huge thanks for supporters.
Can we get it from 0-5 likes and shares a post to 10-20? Even just those numbers will be a huge progression in being able to get my work out to a wider audience. I managed to relentlessly message a few facebook contacts on my latest ‘The News in Poetry’ and have currently got 8 shares which compared to usual is a massive achievement for my work on social media, even after four years of doing all of this.
I either have it set in me to just not give up, or I simply don’t know when to!
What to expect from the Access all areas website and what other projects it will help support.
Reflections of a Runaway – Come and join me on a video series exploring the ins and outs of my journey as a child runaway living on the streets and in care.
I’ll be analysing each poem and story and going more in-depth into that part of my life than I was even able to it Poems From a Runaway. I’ll be talking about life, children and adults mental health, the care system, homelessness and much more. I gathered that this would be a great way to get my stories and messages out to more social workers and foster parents during this difficult pandemic.
If I can get some subscribers and supporters behind me to help with this, then I can also do the videos live with an audience as well as put them out for free at a later date once the video series is complete.
The News in Poetry – The news in poetry is a new series that I’m doing on my main website where here and there I’ll be making a poem from the news. I’d like to make it a regular thing and get some more great messages out there as well as have some fun. Hopefully a lot of you will know that each piece takes time, so any subscribers can give themselves a huge pat on the back for helping to make it all possible as well as help me improve on my poetry speaking.
The second Leatheton poetry book – I know that not many of you have read ‘Welcome To Leatheton’ yet but that’s cool. I’d really love to carry on with the series though, and great news – I’ve already started.
Those subscribing to my Access All Areas website will not only be able to read Poems From a Runaway and ‘Welcome To Leatheton’ – but also follow my journey writing the second book and read each piece as it’s done.
More unique poetry – I’ll of course be writing more poems as well as other creative content for you all to enjoy which will be hosted on the Access All Areas website.
If you’ve got this far either by reading or watching the video then I’d like to say a huge thanks for reading and to everyone that has supported Poems From a Runaway and my other work.