I am actually a painting restorer and am not a writer as such. My working life has been bookended by conservation but in the middle I taught English. I don’t have much actual creative writing experience at all but have often done a little. I do enjoy reading and discussing writing.
I approach the haiku writing as a brain storming session either around something I am interested in or a photo of something I’ve liked. I create phrases from feelings or what I see and work on those. I also try and condense as much meaning as I can into as few words as possible – that’s my aim. It doesn’t necessarily work! I actually have pages and pages of drafts – many of which don’t see the light of day. I have started revisiting the drafts. I don’t manage to write everyday as many of you do. I have along the way experimented and posted poetry in different forms a tiny bit within the group – and I think this is an aspect I would like to develop.
I joined the haiku group last April – 2020 – and invited many members of my family and friends to join – which has been a rather lovely point of contact especially during the various lock downs. Although occasionally I have felt inhibited by this – which is an interesting point of discussion in itself. My mother couldn’t keep up with the number of notifications so left the group! My daughter thinks there is often a bleak undertone and in my family they think I am like the artist Johnny in the Fast Show who always has a slightly ‘black’ view of the world. In terms of well being the social contact through the group, with family, friends and new online friends has been fun and I hope one day to meet some of you in the physical world for a cup of coffee or a gin!
What I have really loved is that TDH group is an easy going platform from which to write. You don’t have to enter a room of serious poets – but they are here along with people like me who enjoy dabbling – and this makes it very accessible. It has given me a reason to write and an audience- and for me, having an audience seems to be really important. I have thought about this quite a lot, as there have been various discussions about the importance of the group, so not only are we sharing thoughts, observations and feelings but we are a ready made audience of supporters. I find that motivational. It has made me think about joining other groups and doing more writing but also it has made me think about doing my own art again. Although this hasn’t happened yet! Needless to say.
I thought I would include a haiku from just under a year ago as an example as here we are again with the bluebells coming out.
And below not a black one, but one about my daughter which I wrote last winter and celebrates the weekly theme of winter colours!
enfolds my daughter, leaves, hair
meld in nature’s hug
and one of my more experimental ones!