In 2016, I made myself to the back of a lecture theatre, preparing myself for my first Psychology seminar, in which I thought would be the start of a career path in Criminal Psychology or Psychiatric Medicine. And then there was this moment, this epiphany if you like, where something snapped in me and I thought to myself "you shouldn't be here".
In that moment, I travelled back to the time I watched David Bowie perform on Top of the Pops in 1999, where I immediately became obsessed with music and words, spending the next few years desperately trying to pen something to be as mesmerising, trying to understand just what it was I had stumbled upon.
To me, Woman, is that.
It's that euphoria of feeling something. Really feeling something. And it's about grabbing the thing that caused it, accepting it, and never letting go. It's about being in the middle of a single moment in which an emotion unlocks a memory, or a thought process begins to mingle with a desire. It's about putting a fist to the stomach and ripping out the guts.
The idea for Woman came a few years after this. I had just switched off the 'open sign' at the petrol station I worked at, wandered out into a dark winter evening, hood up and headphones blasting, and that song came on again.
"Give me wings, give me space, you're the great mistake I never made"
It reminded me of everything I love, everything that makes me tick. Suddenly I wanted to write again, for the first time since university. I had lost my love in the mundanities of work and everyday life, as we all do from time to time, and so I wanted to write something honest, something with colour, something with wings.
"Woman is an invitation of self-acceptance, dancing in the shadows with complete vulnerability"
There's a reason I refer to Woman as 'a dance with vulnerability'. It's a collection of the most personal poems I've ever written. For this, I have allowed myself to become completely exposed, touching on memories and experiences with an overwhelming and endless subject matter.
Here, we'll bleed relationships, love, lust, attraction, sex, friendship, family, loss, depression, anxiety, sexuality, self-acceptance - and all the things you'll experience if you should read it.
"A collection of poetry, spectating between our imagination and memories, our vivid intensity and mild belonging, our favourite masks and the exposure of bare bones that lie beneath"
And if you should ask me about the woman, I would tell you there is no such thing.
She is you in the darkest of your thoughts. She is the strength to lead you back into the light. She is every doubt and desire. She is the first woman you fell in love with, and your last intimate encounter. She is your best friend, your mother, your sister, or daughter. She is the stranger on the bus this morning, and the waitress from the bar last night. She is every bone of you, and the way they take on the world.
To me, Woman, is that.
Woman is due to be released Summer 2020, and will be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Waterstones.