Friday, October 5, 2012
Blogtoberfest Day #5: You don't need a lot of words
In the 1920s, Hemingway won a bet that he could craft a story using only six words. It is said that he considered this his best work.
In 2010, author Patti Digh published a book of four word koans that nailed the beauty and the struggles of modern life.
In 1686, Matsuo Basho wrote three lines that changed the world:
an ancient pond
a frog jumps in
the splash of water
You don't need to write a lot, on your blog or in your life. But there is a lot of power in writing often. And this doesn't have to be a formal exercise, or a chore.
All three wordsmiths above probably sweated for hours at their respective desks to ensure that they arrived at just the right words. Economy usually requires a lot of editing... the kind that can make your brain really hurty.
But sometimes, restrictions on form can make playing with content really fun.
In haiku, for instance, there are a lot of rules and recommendations you can follow. I love writing haiku, even though I am sure that Basho would roll in his grave for some of the stuff I have written. But somehow, the challenge of squeezing something pithy out of five/seven/five syllables, is too good to resist.
Especially during those "lost" moments: waiting for a bus, standing in a queue, doing a 5km run, watching the spin cycle, timing the pasta on the stove.
How could you have fun with your words today?