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This year I set myself two tiny goals for each day: that I would do a plank every day and that I would write little poems. Not exactly haiku, just short little poems, a few words to a few lines, that expressed something about my day or how I was feeling.
Sometimes they are funny, sometimes serious, sometimes dumb, but I take a couple of minutes every day to jot down a little something.
This feels different from my morning pages practice — which is also daily writing but you are supposed to not think about what you are writing. (And which I have not been the best at doing this year so far.)
Little poems are almost the opposite, at least the way I’m doing them. They’re kind of a distillation of everything that happened in the day to what I want to remember or the lesson I want to take from the day.
How to Write Little Poems
Like most things when you are trying to start a creative habit, I recommend just starting.
I’m not writing haiku deliberately because I don’t want to get hung up on counting syllables or making it “hard.” Maybe when I’m more than a couple of weeks in I will try it sometimes, but right now the poems I’m writing are short but not that short.
I try to write mine at the end of the day or close to it. I will write it while the girl is getting ready for bed or as part of my bedtime routine. I often do the poem and the plank at close to the same time.
I love that I have these two practices together, because it’s one physical thing and one mental, creative thing. If I “do” nothing else — no other exercise, no just for me creative activity — I can still feel the accomplishment of having done those two things.
There’s something kind of magical to that.
It’s a reminder that I don’t have to do a ton every day to feel accomplished, to have accomplished something.
That small, consistent effort matters. That if I can do these two little things every day, surely there are other little things I can do, too.
But even if I don’t make progress on my other goals, I’ve still done something, still had a good day, if I do these things.
The Benefits of Poetry Writing
I share a few of my little poems here because I needed to illustrate this post with something, but the point isn’t really to share these lines, just to express them.
It’s a little act of creativity that reminds you that you are a creative person all the time, every day, even if you don’t have time or energy to work on a big project.
Whether it’s writing little poems or working on a project for 5 minutes (or however much time you have), sometimes doing a tiny thing is even better than doing a big thing.
What little thing are you working on? I’d love to hear about it!