April is "National Poetry Month" in the U.S. I enjoy poetry and a long, long, long time ago I used to write poetry*. It was well before I started focusing on more practical applications of writing -- marketing content, helping small business owners master their message, content planning workshops, speechwriting, corporate communication planning.
In 2013, I decided to write a couple of "work-related" haikus in honor of National Poetry Month and post them on the 423 Communication Facebook page. At the time, I did it "because I could." I mean, why have your own business if you can't loosen up and have a little fun with words, right?
Editors are not
A necessary evil.
The next year, I did it again. And then the next year. And the next.
When you work at home,
Formality falls away.
See ya later, pants.
This year was no different. I looked forward to coming up with compact little stories, contained within five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.
Now, I hold no illusions that haikus are going to catapult my business to the stratosphere. They are unlikely to gain new clients for me. But they give friends and clients of 4.23 a smile. They give me an avenue to share a bit of my personality -- the word-nerd, amused part.
Perhaps most importantly, they let me flex a different kind of writing muscle and that keeps my words from getting stale. It's like cross-training. It helps break up the muscle memory by providing new challenges.
Do you ever find yourself in a content rut? Out of ideas? Not sure where the words are going to come from? Try writing in a different form. Channel your inner Dr. Seuss. Write a marketing rap. Pen lyrics to a Broadway-worthy show tune. Or try haiku.
You don't have to post it anywhere or share it with anyone. And you certainly don't have to commit to writing a month's worth of silly little poems. Just try a different format. See what it can break free for you.
Where is my coffee?
How can I be a genius
Tell me how it goes.
*Recently, a friend from high school shared with me a poem I wrote for her that she had kept all these years. Yikes!