As you may (or may not) have noticed, I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump these past few months. Of course, like many writers I can come up with plenty of convenient excuses for why I haven’t been writing. For example: I’m short on energy and time, thanks to an abundance of fall farm chores and a physically demanding new part-time job. I’m lacking motivation, since I currently have no concrete article deadlines. I’m suffering from a dearth of confidence in my writing ability, especially when it comes to penning a novel. My hands (or neck, or ?) are too sore to plunk away at the computer for extended stretches. My desk (or kitchen or ?) is way too messy. My right brain is too sleep-deprived (or stressed, or ?) for any kind of creative spark to catch.
Pitiful, isn’t it?
Well, it’s high time I drew my figurative sword and started lopping off some of my excuse-monster’s many ugly heads. Because I know from personal experience that if you put a high enough priority on something (i.e. exercise), if you love something enough (i.e. family), you will find a way to make time for it–excuses be damned. And I love writing, I really do.
Besides, writing something–anything–doesn’t have to take all that much time, as I re-discovered during a recent trip my husband and I took to Vancouver Island, B.C. While perusing some used books in a thrift store on Gabriola Island, I happened upon a slim little book of essays and Haiku poetry by Naomi Beth Wakan, called Drumbeg Park. As it happened, we’d visited this lovely park the evening before and so I bought the book and read it that day. Wakan’s spare yet wonderfully evocative poems ignited something inside me. I hadn’t written a single creative word in what seemed like ages, yet suddenly I wanted to try writing my own Haiku.
So I did, in just a few minutes. After all, a traditional Japanese Haiku is a poem of only three lines with a 5/7/5 syllable count (they also usually focus on nature and often contain a seasonal word; learn more at http://www.poets.org ). Then I wrote another. And another. Once you start, Haiku is kind of addicting. For the last few days of our vacation, I sometimes found myself thinking in Haiku, testing out the syllables whenever I saw anything Haiku-worthy. And I often did this aloud, until it started to annoy my husband so much that I stopped.
Anyway, here they are–my not very polished vacation Haiku (and yes, I cheated on that first one). Proof that I’m a writer still, despite all of those wicked excuses.
Flowers like blue stars
shooting past our bicycles
pretend summer has no end
Otter wrestles crabs
seal swims in for closer look
Sun melts in harbor
while sky runs to tangerine
best poutine ever
Hawthorn tree adorned
with crimson Christmas berries
yet September still
Have you ever written a Haiku? Feel free to share!
(pictured: Drumbeg Park, seafood poutine in Victoria)