just my thoughts


how do you do, haiku

I’ve been asked more than once how I come up with the haiku photos that I create.  I started thinking about  my creative process, and decided to try to explain how these get from my brain to my blog.

There is no mystery really.  Most creativity starts with a spark, and this is true for me.  Sometimes it is something I see, sometimes something I hear, an emotion.  Or maybe a thought.  It starts small, and grows.

For the haiku I did last night, it started with frustration.  All month, I had been posting every day as part of a blogging challenge.  Then suddenly, last night, my well of inspiration dried up.  I thought about it.  About the fact that I couldn’t think of a single blessed thing to write.  And that was when the first lightening bolt hit my brain.  (That is what an idea feels like to me…a big ZAP right between the ears.)

I would write about not being able to write.  Then I thought about it…(thinking does play an integral part in creating for me).

It needed to be terse.  Brief, and able to convey my agony at the void of creativity…

Now wait, I was creating.  But it wasn’t what I wanted to do…it was a stop gap.  So I could meet my deadline, and not stress over it.

So I thought of the words that would put my emotion into type.  And I remembered how on fire my mind was with ideas at the beginning of the month.  And then I thought of how the ideas had come faster than I could write them down for the first three weeks.  I put the first words down, and started rearranging them and changing some out.  Haiku to me is more than 5, 7, 5 syllables.  It is a feeling, an ability to take words down to the bare bones.  Raw emotion, ideas that are spit into the wind one word at a time, and digested bit by bit as the reader takes them in, feeling the thought of the writer, and understanding.  Haiku for me is an aha! and the best ones I have read can sometimes literally slam me back like a physical blow.

At the same time I was writing the haiku, I was thinking about a photo that would enhance the visuality of it.  It had to be a balance, a complement.  The words and photo must carry equal weight.  As though one could not exist without the other.

Last night, when I first posted the haiku, I used a different image.  But the image I used didn’t sit well with me.  It didn’t convey my anxiety, my frustration.  I thought about it in my dreams last night, and this morning when I got up, I changed the photo.  And knew as soon as I added the words, that it balanced.  And this is what I ended with:

When I finished it, I realized the void in my brain wasn’t empty after all.  In my creative furor the stop gap I was trying to fill the void with, became much more, and I didn’t even realize that I was creating.  It just happened.  I focused on the steps of the process, and forgot my anxiety.  Suddenly the frustration was gone.   And everything balanced for me again.
And that is what haiku is for me.  Balance.  Creativity, idea, construct, all come together in the end.  A piece of my thoughts, to share with you.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie