Last year, I wrote 365 haikus as a way to write more consistently. Unfortunately, I’d let this project collect dust for weeks at a time–which led to some interesting hours at the coffeeshop writing haiku after haiku.
Still it wasn’t so much the product but the process. The limited space of the haiku helped me get out of my comfort zone because unlike the slam poems I normally write, these haikus didn’t tell a full story. Some were funny, some were strange, and some were actually pretty good. And it made me realize there are topics (in 2013) that I was obsessed with–things I kept revisiting.
In the spirit of writing more often I’ve decided write 120 words a day, every day, of anything. Blogging, poetry, anything. Full disclosure, I stole this idea from a friend but I loved it. She says it helps her stave off writers block and that it means, no matter what, she writes 840 words a week and–of course–most weeks she writes a lot more than that.
Too often perfection impedes my writing, especially when it comes to this blog. I don’t write because at best I have a partially formed thought and at worst I have nothing to say. This 125 words a day project will help keep me out of a rut. Lately, I’ve been surrounded by inspiration that I’ve let go to waste opting not to write because “I don’t have the time”. The other day I sat down in the commons with a cup of coffee, moodle articles printed out, ready to get some reading done before my LLC meeting. But instead I took out my poetry notebook and started to write. It felt good. And yes, I did eventually read those articles.
My point is, it’s not often we feel inspired–or even willing–to pay our personal projects any attention. So those rare times you do feel like it, do it. And when you don’t feel like it, do it too. Writing can be an escape, a release, a place for the mind to stretch its legs and run free. But putting yourself in the position to write–that–is an act of discipline. And with only one month left of school and with the poetry slam a week away, it’s something I will be working on.
Another idea I’m incorporating into my life is “writing as play”. Reminding myself that my writing doesn’t always need to take a shape. I can write without an idea, I can finish writing without having come up with an idea. There is value in the process and pleasure of it.
So for now my writing goals are as follows: write more, diversify my writing, have pet projects, and remember writing can be play. A few things I’m thinking of working on: something with my typewriter, blackout poetry, automatic poetry, a supersmash brothers series of poems, self portrait poetry, making my 365 haiku project into a calendar, and antonym poems. So here’s to actually implementing these ideas. Here’s to more writing and less excuses.