Secret hobby proves to good therapy for writer Nic
A secret hobby turned out to be a game-changing gift for poet Nic Outterside, who has published a new book of verses.
After suffering a career-ending nervous breakdown, the award-winning journalist-turned-author quit his 28-year press career in 2013 and moved to Whitchurch, Shropshire, before relocating to Wolverhampton.
His new book, Hot Metal - Poems from the Print Room, draws its inspiration from his time in the newspaper and magazine industry.
Nic explains that he started writing as part of his therapy and began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Among the suggestions was for him to write and talk about his life experiences.
As a result his first paperback, The Hill - Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, was published in 2014 to international acclaim and the first 1,000 print edition has almost sold out.
In 2018 he published its sequel, Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft.
After working on various projects he compiled Hot Metal.
Nic says: “In 1993 during my early years in newspaper journalism, we would take time out every Thursday afternoon after that week’s paper hit the presses.
“I was chief reporter of an editorial team responsible for putting together the news, sport and features for one of Scotland’s most highly regarded county newspapers The Galloway Gazette.
“This was our two-hour sojourn before we began planning the following week’s edition. It was a time to escape from 'Cow Halts Traffic on A75'. 'Young Mum Guilty of Shoplifting at Woolworths' and similar stories to find solace and creativity in my self-centred pastime of poetry.
“So I would sit with a mug of coffee in my hand and scribble some ideas, a few lines, and if I was particularly creative maybe a whole poem. The poems would never be read by anyone else. It was my secret hobby.
“Then by the end of last year I suddenly realised I had more than enough poems to fill yet another book.
“They reflect the real me that has emerged seven years on from that breakdown and 27 years since those first doodles on a Thursday afternoon at the Galloway Gazette.
“The book is a litany of love, loss and angst fermented with the ideas that swam around my head all those years ago.”
He has also found time to write and publish a volume of poems in homage to the songs from his favourite record album Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan. And is the author of Amazon best sellers Death in Grimsby and Bones.
Nic, 64, of Lonsdale Road, Bilston, also set up publishing enterprise called Time is an Ocean and edits the work of other writers.
Hot Metal - Poems from the Print Room is available in large print from Amazon, priced £7.99.
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