On Breaking Patterns: #ThousandPoemYear Update – Week 13

– written as if it’s the 7th of April.


[Hi, I’m Joshua Judson. I’m writing 1000 Poems this year. To find out how and why, click HERE.]

Poems written this week: 44

Poems written so far this month: 44

Poems written so far this year: 344


-and then it was April.

Doing a challenge as time-specific as this really puts into perspective how short, or at least how fast-travelling a year is. I feel as though I’ve barely started the #ThousandPoemYear challenge, when in fact, I’m over a third of the way into it.

It’s Easter break now, so I’m not in uni and, as a result, not in London. I’m back home in Nottingham, and I’m not entirely sure why.


It’s almost muscle memory now to come back home to Notts in my breaks from uni. When I started at Guildhall, I was in a relationship with a girl who was still living back here, so coming back at weekends and holidays had a very specific purpose. And over the past year, that relationship has broken down and we’ve been in the difficult and painful process of trying and failing to fix things, leading us to the position we are in now: very much in love, but unable to make it work, at least not while I am still in London.

With that being the case, it’s hard to know why I’ve come back to Notts. Of course, I love and want to see my family, but for the last few years I’ve struggled in those times I’ve been living at my Mum’s house. This is not a negative reflection on anyone in my family, it’s just the natural state of things that we outgrow the nest and need to do our own thing. In the past, my productivity when I’m home for break has really plummeted. It feels like a lot to transition from a system, routine and way of being that I’ve specifically designed to engender productivity to a system that operates, rightly so, entirely differently.

That said, I am very happy with the way I’ve handled this culture shock this time around, writing 44 poems in the last week is symptomatic of a successful transition, I think. But nonetheless it does feel like a set back.


I think I’ve had a hard time processing my break up. Partly because we were trying to make it work for such a long time, but also because, for me, being single again requires such a huge shift in priorities and goals. I’m a person who has to know where they’re headed. I grew up in the Lake District, a scenic hell-hole that I knew, from a very young age, that I did not belong in. So from a young age, I’ve been goal orientated. I’ve been looking ahead, planning for getting out. And that is a pattern I’ve been stuck in/conditioned into ever since. So not knowing what my long term goal, where I’m headed freaks me all the way the fuck out.


In my practise, I’m always preaching about the breaking of patterns. How we avoid complacency at all costs. In life, I am the opposite. I annoy myself with how much of a creature of habit I am. How bogged down in sentimentality and routine I get.


But a pattern has broken, and I need to get with the programme. I don’t know how things will change – if I will just stay in London until I finish my degree or what, but I want to hold my personal life to the same standard I hold my artistic life. Break patterns, avoid complacency. Make the most of every opportunity. Do more.



Joshua Judson x

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