Why You Should Drop Everything and Read a Haiku

Even Better? Read a Dozen

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Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Once again, Medium has penalized the poets of Medium.

The new setup means that a reader can click on your haiku, scan it quickly and then move on, with virtually no read time or financial reward to you.

My advice? I’ve already told Medium poets to pad their work to increase their reading time and shown them — by example — how it’s done:

This advice is for the poets themselves. But what can the rest of us do to support them?

I, for one, have begun compulsively reading Haiku.

Each day I pick a Haiku publication — like House of Haiku or American Haiku — and I try to read everything published that day by a paying Medium member. And I don’t just zip by it either.

It’s a three step process:

I actually click on the title so that I enter the post itself, instead of staying on the profile page. This ensures that the Read Time Meter starts running.

I read the poem.

I do my best to post a response.

The response can be anything! An observation. An appreciation. How the poem makes me feel or what I’ve learned from it.

When I can’t come up with anything, I follow a practice I learned from Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff)and post a one-word response, like Fun! Or Provocative! Or Enlightening!

Or even Confusing!

What I say doesn’t matter as much as the fact that my spending the time it takes to formulate a response will (1) increase the read time for that poet and (2) enable me to connect as a reader with them.

I started doing this to help the poets of Medium, but now it’s part of my life and I’m really enjoying it. It’s fun and it makes me happy. Jumping into a dozen poems puts you in a dozen different places and points of view. And that’s not only a pleasure but oddly relaxing.

So the next time you have a few minutes? Don’t just re-re-re-check your own stats. Read a couple of haiku and give somebody else’s stats a bump up.

And let’s hope that the next change will upgrade the earnings of Medium’s poets and other short form writers.

( Writing Coach and Medium Sherpa Roz Warren writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times and is the author of Our Bodies, Our Shelves: Library Humor. Drop her a line at roSwarren@gmail.com.)

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Writing Coach/Medium Sherpa Roz Warren(https://muckrack.com/roz-warren) (roSwarren@gmail.com) writes for everyone from the New York Times to the Funny Times.

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