Conversation 86: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Jackie Walton


Hello there, I’m Jackie. I live in a rather remote, but beautiful part of North Yorkshire.

I’ve always been interested in writing and words. Seeing words tumble out onto paper or the screen sets the scene for creativity for me and helps to untangle feelings which can’t always be easily spoken about.
I come from a family of academics (I’m not one and I love that I’m different!) My brother has, in the past said to me “Jack, why do you use 500 words, when you could use 5?! Maybe he was unconsciously nudging me towards Haiku.
Years ago, I was having some psychotherapy and the man working with me had talked about Haiku and at the time was encouraging me to write them. It felt awkward, I couldn’t really get into them then. I belonged to a “casual” writing group (in real life, pre Covid) and someone from my group was in the Facebook Haiku group and invited me to join. So I did!
At first, the old “I’m not good enough” appeared. I was reading all the other Haiku posts and probably like many things I’m new to, I felt a bit out of my depth. I’ve no idea why as the group is so supportive, diverse, funny, deep and authentic.
During lockdown (I’ve been in a shielding household for the last year) my father was a little verbally aggressive with me during the first lockdown. I realised this was his fear of getting Covid and he has Aspergers so isn’t the greatest at expressing himself. Instead it comes out in big stored up chunks!
With not being able to see friends or pop to a cafe/pub for a cuppa or wine or the gym to exercise it out or all the other things that kept me sane, writing became a valuable outlet. I’d dip in and out of the Haiku group and add my contribution here and there. I’ve been writing a book over the last year. It started as a journal to purge feelings and note down facts and just kept growing!
I’d look at the Haiku themes to see if any piqued my interest. Then think about my feelings and experiences for that week. I’d either come up with something straight away or sit with it for a while until something emerged! I also like to support my work with photos as I’m very visual.
I love the group for reasons mentioned previously, it feels a safe and supportive space to share and grow. The threads of conversation are often funny and inspiring and I like that people aren’t afraid to be a bit “raw” and bring in personal struggles. I feel valued. Some days, if things are too much with overwhelm of the Covid situation, all the changes and separations, to post one small Haiku can make such a difference.
I’ve chosen 2 of my favourite Haikus…
Ahhh, the younger me,
Mischievous, shy, a redhead,
The same, but biggerΒ  πŸ™‚
He tried very hard,
To attract their attention,
They preferred their food…

3 Comments on “Conversation 86: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Jackie Walton”

  1. I love that you feel ‘valued’ in the group Jackie and know that you really are. I am so thrilled by the way the community has come together. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on writing, haiku and getting through this very difficult and extraordinary time we are all living through. Look forward to more of your haiku.

  2. Ah, a fellow red-head! There are not that many of us about.
    I am so glad you feel valued as a member of this group. I know I do and of course I.want everyone to feel as supported as I do. It must have been so restrictive to have been shielding for so long. Writing haiku is so challenging but we need that challenge to keep us going when life is being paused. I do hope you continue into the ‘new normal’ on the 19th July and I do think that will be a challenge too! Good Luck with your book. β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ¦°πŸ§‘πŸ¦ŠπŸ’›πŸ

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