Dark Angels Note 76

Dearest Friends,

Welcome back to our weekly Dark Angels Note.

Today we say thank you to Eston(Aberd)onian writer and speaker, Birgit Itse, for gifting us a glimpse into her writing world.


1. Tell us about something you’re working on right now. 

For me, being a freelancer is just not a side-hustle. It’s a business, my work. The most important ongoing project is organising my creativity. Monthly, weekly, daily. To discipline myself to create time for things I write because of that inner urge. I’m not attached to certain genres. Poetry, short stories, longer chapters of something that may have a potential to be a novel.

My most consistent work, where I mix photos I’ve taken and combine them with my thoughts, is on my Instagram page. It’s in a way I write. Being bilingual, writing in two languages, or just in either of them, has become a part of my writer’s identity. My Instagram page is also where I wrote my debut book, and I’d say keep writing the next edition. No book deals or deadlines to shout out, but I like the idea that my work is available for people who might need it. This is one of the latest posts.

How to write about all the evil things you’ve experienced? They say, you heal when you write about these things.
For a long time I didn’t know why I don’t like writing about people who’ve been nasty to me.
I thought it’s not fair to write about it, but why or how, I couldn’t explain.
So I avoided real conflicts, it seemed like blaming.
Like a sudden sunlight in a dreich morning, an understanding appeared.
Without #forgiveness I’m not able to heal. If my writing comes from a place of anger, guilt, fear or any other negative emotion, I’m adding salt to my wounds. I’m producing more negativity, and that doesn’t make me any better than them. So, it’s not fair to myself.
Forgive yourself, and them. Whatever it was, it made you stronger.


2. Can you recommend something for us to read?

I divide the books I read into two — the ones I read, and the ones I study. The ones to read are something that just switch off my brain, the ones to study are activating my thinking. Currently, I’m more into the ones to study.

I really enjoyed David Eagleman’s book The Brain: The Story of you. The titles of the chapters remind me of our weekly gatherings, but I think the greatest wow moment was when he described how we’re able to create false memories, and also, how propaganda works.


3. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever read or received?  

I’d say it’s in a form of a poem. It’s by Charles Bukowski, “So you want to be a writer?” I came across it during the summer when I participated in poetic consultations, and one of the actors read it to me on the phone in Estonian. I looked it up in English, and found out that it’s also available on Youtube. I go back to it from time to time. I think it’s not just about writing, but it can be expanded to other (creative) areas as well.


4. Share one thing you do when you get stuck.

It depends on how stuck I am. I haven’t made it to the point where I don’t like writing. If it’s a short piece of writing, and I just need a pause, I’ll work on something else. If it’s a longer piece, I usually reread it, and if I still don’t have any ideas how to go further with it, I’ll go for a walk. I love sitting on a sand dune at Aberdeen Beach. Just watching the surface of the sea, grass dancing in the wind, sand forming mini-tornados. Having my mindfulness moment. And then, quite often when I power-walk back (because you do get cold eventually sitting in one place), I get some ideas.


5. What’s your desert island book and why? 

I think I’d take my current read with me. It’s Aspire by Kevin Hall. Every chapter in this book is dedicated to one word, and these words are from different languages and cultures, yet all very powerful. I’ve managed to read, highlight, underline and write notes about 4 chapters out of 11, so I’m sure it’ll keep me busy.

Kevin Hall is also quoting Robert Louis Stevenson, who said that he always carries two books with him: the one that he’s reading, and the one that he’s writing. So, I’d probably hide a notebook under my clothes (like I hid books when instead of gardening I decided to read outside), or at least a pack of tissues to write notes to.


Thank you so much, Birgit. What a great image of you power-walking your way back to creativity. If you don’t already follow Birgit on Instagram, catch up with her @omataoline for more gems.


Seasons’ Greetings

If you haven’t got round to getting your copy of Seasons’ Greetings just yet, there’s still time. It’s a flawless book in every way; writing, design and production. A limited edition, numbered and signed for £40, it makes for a very thoughtful gift. Get yours here.


Dark Angels Gatherings

Our Tuesday night gatherings are off and running once again. Same time as before (7.00-8.00pm in the UK), but with a new Zoom link. If you fancy an hour of connection and reflection in the company of other Dark Angels, you’d be very welcome; bring a friend too.

Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..

From everyone at Dark Angels

Also published on Medium.