Why Write Post It Note Poetry?

Why write poetry and why write it on a Post It Note?

In January last year my collaborative writing partner, Jodi Cleghorn, and I were having an online conversation about her month of writing bad haiku the previous year. The idea of a month of bad poetry was floated for February, you know, because creativity and complete naffness.

Between creative friends, ideas can easily get out of hand and all of a sudden they are free range chickens scratching at the dirt in your head.

My contribution to the conversation was to limit the size and focus of the poetry: it must fit on  a Post It Note.

Thus, #postitnotepoetry was birthed and the month of lyrical experimentation commenced.

It was an easy thing to do because it was a short, sharp burst of forced and focused creativity. Some days were more of a challenge to write: looking for ideas and inspiration, making it fit on to the parameters of a Post It Note, and trying to write a poem in the corners of the day.


Check out last year’s collection here.

This year I was tempted to pass on the opportunity to write because I wanted to focus on Getting Stuff Done (GSD) and sometimes you have to say “No” to opportunities. I know Jodi was the same.

But it only takes an individual, in this case Sean Blogonaut, to post one and we fell to it like seagulls on a hot chip.

But I need to answer the question posed above.

Why write poetry and why write it on a Post It Note?

* It’s a creative act ANYONE can do

I believe everyone can be creative. People are often too afraid to start or have no idea where to start.

Making the activity simple and accessible, giving people permission to try a new activity and more importantly, permission to suck at it, creates impetus to try a new thing.

I am no poet but I am quite proud of some of the pieces of I wrote last year. In the Aussie vernacular, it’s all about “having a go.”

I embrace that I suck at something.

* Limits and boundaries can be liberating

Giving yourself a restriction can free up your imagination and focus.

The size of a Post It Note doesn’t allow for an epic poem but a haiku, a senyru, tanka or couplet easily fits on. However, I do manage to squeeze a fair bit of text onto a Post It Note.

Use a range of colours. They vary from the traditional yellow square to pink and green and blue and purple squares to colourful rectangular pads with lines.

I am using the first pad I found in my writing drawer: a pale yellow, rectangular pad (Jodi says it’s cheating but she uses coloured rectangular Post It Notes WITH LINES ON THEM).

* It creates community

We started a facebook page last year and for the month of February it went off. It remained quiet during the year, but returned again with a focus.

Do it with other people. Make it a game, a challenge. Be involved with people doing creative things.

* It does not require a huge time commitment

You can scribble out a couplet in a minute or pen six lines of doggerel in less than five. Quality is not a factor; your commitment to write is.

Use moments of down time like in the shower or washing up, love making or taking the ferret for a walk to play around with words.

Creativity does not have to consume large portions of your time; five minutes a day is sufficient. You are very welcome to spend longer; if you’re enjoying it, take pleasure in it.

* I must practice what I preach

If I write about creativity and seek to proselytise the masses into the way of creativity, I must also do it. Post It Note Poetry is my reminder to be creative.

I also write random Post It Note Philosophy about the creative life. I am aiming to finish a novella in the first half of the year, have my collaborative novel out to agents and complete another short/novella in the second half. Note to self: Get Stuff Done.

I am thinking I might continue Post It Note Poetry beyond February this year and put them up on the blog from time to time.

You can see this month’s collection of Post It Note Poetry here.

* It leads to new ideas and opportunities

I subbed my first poem for publication in January (still waiting on rejection/acceptance) and it would not have happened had I not started writing bad poetry. Quality is another judgement. It’s the learning I gain from writing that is exciting.

The important thing is to DO SOMETHING CREATIVE. Take a picture a day, draw a cartoon, arrange flowers, bake cupcakes, doodle in the margins of the newspaper, deface magazines. There are many wonderful creative people out there doing things not for fame and fortune, but the fun of creating.

This guy likes to draw pictures on Post It Notes during his commute to work.

A father draws on his kids’ sandwich bags each day.

What about Moleskine doodles?

This doodle art will blow your mind.

Remember defacing pictures in magazines when you were a kid by drawing moustaches on everyone? Go and do it again.

Here’s a creative challenge for you: what else can you do with a Post It Note?

Please give examples in comments below, or better still, link to your blog and show everyone what you’re doing.

Get creative!


3 responses to “Why Write Post It Note Poetry?

  1. Darn, I wish i had started this…is over half way too late to join in?

  2. Hmm.Challenge accepted…anyone got a post-it note… 😀

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