I’ve been focusing on one item in particular on my 2017 To-Do List – Item #2: Publish Something. While I’ve got a few feelers out there (entries in three contests), I’m looking seriously into self-publishing on the digital platform.
While decluttering some shelves (another item on my to-do list), I found and stacked all of my haiku journals on my writing desk. My intention is to comb through all of them and select fifty poems to include in a digital chapbook.
The idea is to create a chapbook that includes some of my favorite haikus from the last few years. At this point I have well over a thousand haiku – some have been published on my blogs, while others have not. I’m hoping to create a nice mix between reader favorites (that “Like” button comes in pretty handy!) and my personal favorites.
The selection process has already yielded some interesting insights. It’s amazing how a poem seems good when its first written, but in hindsight you wonder how on earth it even ended up in your journal. If anything, the bad ones make the gems stick out that much more.
It’s also interesting to see how I’ve experimented over the last few years. I started out with strict adherence to the 5-7-5 syllable/line structure, which then shifted to the looser format of less than 14 syllables (12 is usually my target) in three lines. Later experiments with monokus (one line haikus) and senryu are excellent trackers of my anthology reading and research. Admittedly, I’m still figuring out the monoku.
Perhaps the most enlightening thing to see was how my individual voice began to emerge through all the experimentation. While it’s still a work in progress, there is something remarkable about seeing a haiku that only I could write. It took a long time to get this point!
In many ways this project is a culmination of almost three years of constant practice in writing haikus. They are my passion, so creating collection just seems the next natural step.
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