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Haikus: Yoga for writers

When I was running my writers group in Los Angeles, one of my favorite warm-ups was haiku-writing. One particularly memorable haiku session revolved around honkus, inspired by Aaron Naparstek's book, Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage and his website honku.org. (Listen to a fun interview with Naparstek from NPR). As you might imagine, in the freeway centric Land of Dreams, we had plenty of first-hand experience to draw on.

Haiku's something I use when I'm stuck, too. Sometimes I just put down whatever piece of content I'm developing and stretch my writing muscles a little by composing some verse. It's like yoga -- releasing tension and spurring creativity. Most of my haikus are crap, but they provide a welcomed reset from the regular work, and relax me when I'm feeling frustrated about a piece that isn't going the way I'd like.

This week I'll be focusing on the environment during poetic breaks as part of Grist.org's Haiku Contest to commemorate Earth Day. Oh, and it's National Poetry Month, too! Join me?

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