Tag Archives: 100 days

Another 100 Day Challenge – Haiku

It’s Day 100 of the Haiku Challenge.

I now have over 1,000 haiku of indeterminate quality. Some of them aren’t haiku, some are senyru. Some are more like fragments, or notes. And many of them are merely bad.

Having taken all that into consideration, was it worth it?

Undoubtedly. I’ve learned a lot from the experience, including that in any 100 day challenge you are going to come to hate what you are doing. Whether this holds true for my new challenge remains to be seen.

I first came up with the idea from reading this this post whilst browsing the net for haiku-related posts. I then moved on to reading this article, which is a lot more ambitious.

My “rules”, garnered from the article, were simple. Ten haiku a day for 100 days, avoiding too much censorship and writing extra to catch up if I couldn’t manage ten one day. As the article admitted that experienced writers were only getting one good haiku out of ten or twenty attempts I felt justified in taking a laid back attitude.

So, what did I learn?

Well, I became more fluent in my writing and found ideas came more easily.

I became addicted to writing and couldn’t rest if I didn’t write at least ten a day. Apart from the days I needed a rest, because there were several days where I hated haiku so badly that I couldn’t write one. That did happen a couple of times, but I soon got over it after a day off.

I also ran out of nature several times. Despite becoming more observant and making better notes as time went on, I found I was struggling with enough nature observations to keep myself going. You don’t see much nature when you are just driving through town to work and back, and magpies and bare branches are simply not enough to feed a heavy haiku habit.

Towards the end of the time I noticed I was writing three line poems with the rhythms and vocabulary of haiku.

That last point is quite important. I started with a lot of long words and details which aren’t really needed in haiku. A three syllable word in a haiku, remember, is three thirteenths of the syllables needed for a modern haiku (seventeen is now considered old-fashioned). Three thirteenths of a sonnet is near enough three lines, so you can see how condensed a haiku is, and why you can’t waste a single syllable.

That was probably the most important thing I learned.

Now, it’s time to take Number Two Son to work.

Over the next few weeks I will do some rewriting and may show you a few poems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 101

To be accurate, it’s really only day 75 because I missed a day. While I’m on a roll I’m going to go for the extra 25 and make it a genuine 100.

That’s probably all I need to say about that. From tomorrow I’ll stop rattling on about targets and just get on with it.

I have a few things to do and then I’m going to set to work listing suitable subjects for future posts.

The morning started with sunlight streaming into the living room and dazzling me. An hour later it has now gone grey and the temperature has dropped significantly.

That will do for now – I’m feeling a bit slow due to the pain in my face and Julia needs to go out.

Here are some cheery photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 100!

Finally – day 100 in the posting challenge!

(Well, really day 99 out of 100, but as I’ve averaged over a post a day I’m allowing myself to claim it as completed.)

I’m treating it in a suitably low-key sort of way and celebrated by having a tooth extracted. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable, but it could have been worse. Next time I have a celebration I may stick with the traditional cake-based version.

They gave me a form to fill in afterwards, asking how likely I was to recommend them to a family member. It’s difficult to give a useful answer to that, as I’m not likely to recommend that any member of my family spends half an hour in the dentist’s chair with pliers and power tools in their mouth.

So, what have I learned from my 100 days of posting?

Tricky…

I’ve learned that it’s possible to run out of things to say, and that photos of flowers and cute animals are an acceptable substitute. I’ve also learned that you can grow to hate blogging at times, and that setting a target makes you more likely to do things.

However, I knew that.

I suppose the main thing I’ve learned is that it is possible to set myself a long-term writing target and stick to it. That’s not always been the case in the past.

I also need to list subjects for posts and write some in advance.

That, I think, is about it.

Now, what should I do tomorrow?

Haiku Challenge – Day 79 – Just 3 Weeks Left!

I’ve been plugging away at it for 79 days now, and have written well over 800 haiku, spread between three notebooks – upstairs, downstairs and in the car. You can’t afford to waste inspiration, and I’ve often done the daily ten whilst waiting in the car for Julia.

As a result I swear my brain is getting bigger and I’m beginning to resemble the Mekon.

Image result for mekon

(Image purloined from http://www.dandare.org.uk)

Well, not in all respects, I’m not clean-shaven and I don’t sit in a levitating lifeboat. I will probably have to start eating fish to power all this extra grey matter.

In terms of enthusiasm I’ve moved from being happy with my newly developed facility for haiku writing, to being addicted, to hating them and back to happiness.

In terms of quality, I’m embarrassed to admit that 775 of the 800 I’ve written are not very good. On the other hand, the remaining 25 are better than anything I’d written before I started the challenge, so it has done some good.

There is an editor on one of the magazine websites who is very critical of people who write haiku in “industrial quantities”. That’s me he’s talking about. At one time I was depressed at the thought, but now I’m happy with it, as I have definitely improved despite my “industrial” approach.

It’s hurt at times but I think the learning has been good for me in the end. I got myself back into writing by buying a diary and writing something every day for a year (which I nearly accomplished) but the high intensity of ten a day for 100 days is a much more intense learning experience.

Of course, telling people about it to ensure it happened was a good idea, as I’d have given up weeks ago if it wasn’t for that.

I’d also make sure there was plenty of nature to see – 100 haiku featuring fallen or brown leaves can be a bit wearing. If I ever do this again I’ll choose a different time of year and do more walking.

The other thing I would suggest is that you should keep your haiku properly filed or indexed. I have 800 free range haiku and no prospect of ever getting them sorted.

That’s it for now – the next news on this will be in 21 days.

 

A Drive in Derbyshire

1st November and, by coincidence, it’s Day 25 of the 100 Posts/100 Days Challenge. So far, so good, with posts on 25 successive days.

I’m cutting a few corners to keep to the target but it’s not too bad – I’ve always done that, even when I wasn’t trying to keep to a target. It’s not as if the written version is ever as good as the version I have in my head when I sit down to type.

We went to Derbyshire today – looking for autumn colour and fresh air. The air was certainly fresh, but most of the colour seemed to be either dull or, as we got further North, lacking. At the top of the county only the beech trees seemed to be showing any coloured leaves. The rest of the trees were bare.The header picture shows Wingfield Manor, one of the places Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.

 

 

Some Photographs

This is what happens whe you are on a mission to post every day, when your wife is going mad looking for something and you can’t concentrate because of the noise and bustle. Yes, twenty four days into the 100 day self-imposed challenge and I’m sticking in three photos to make sure I don’tmiss a day.

I really should do better.

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Silver Birch Clumber Park

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Clumber Park

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Dead Trees –  Clumber Park

 

 

Challenge Reports

The 100 Posts/100 Days Challenge is on course, with seventeen successive days done. Only 83 days to go.

I’ve done better in the past, so I’m not getting too excited yet, though it’s nice to see things taking shape. I’m struggling at the moment, to be honest. I have plenty to say but  either a lack of enthusiasm or a lack of skill seems to be slowing me down. It will come. I have plenty of things to say but I’m struggling to write them down.

I’m sure it will get better.

Meanwhile, the Haiku Challenge is going quite well. Sixteen days in and I’m starting to find things a bit easier. With writing regularly I’m finding it easier to understand the structure and, as a result, easier to write things that look and sound like haiku.

Now that I can do that I’m able to relax and generate more ideas.

However, I’m not going to make any boastful claims just now. I’m going to send some of the new haiku off over the next few weeks and see if any editors like them.

That’s all for now – I just thought I’d let you know that life isn’t all fun and curry.