creative exercise


Credit line: © Luisa Vallon Fumi |

Have you noticed that whenever you set out to write something regardless of when or where – there is one thing that’s never different? It’s you – of course! You are always the one writing your words. It is my belief that when one writes in a haibun style it does not have to be written in first person, even though I also believe that most haibun are personal.

A reflection of who you are. A poetic expression of how you view things. A thought, an experience, or a memory. That’s the nature of it. And because it is usually personal, this can be difficult for some. Writing in the first person about thoughts and feelings, memories and adventures can be hard.

But what if you were someone else? What if you put “you the writer” (that you are) into a character mode and then wrote from his or her perspective?

Want to give it a try? Write in the first person, except remember you’re in character!

Here goes:

The Setting: You’ve been out on special assignment for a month. The jungle is hot, and humid. Your guide has gotten you lost twice and you have concerns about the natives in the area. But you’re close to reaching your goal. It’s evening now … you’re exhausted and yet you’re preoccupied, the jungle fauna beautiful, the animals exotic but dangerous, what are your thoughts … don’t forget you’re writing as someone else but it’s still personal.

Take out your travel journal and write. Take along your sketchpad or camera, if you’re so inclined and write one or two (at the most three) paragraphs (your written prose) with your haiku included in the mix (if you have questions about writing a haibun click here )

When your finished and you’ve added (at your choice) any illustrations or photographs (not necessary), if you like, publish your haibun on your blog.

Good writing be with you,


penny l howe


Introduction – Haibun Assignments


“The goal of every writer is to be read. There are no exceptions to this rule.”


Consider the Haibun Haven (among other things) a workshop for the purpose of further enabling writers to express themselves through words that are richer, more complete and enticing. The goal: To further the development of one’s individual style, through the rich format of haibun writing. The end results: Learning to present passages of written words so distinctly vivid and pure, readers will want to read more of your work.

Haibun: Haibun is a writing method. A formula or template.  There is a certain manner or thought process that goes along with this structure. Understanding both at the beginning will be helpful. For more information on the nature of the haibun, click here

Haibun: A combination of both prose (descriptive writing) and haiku (Japanese Poetry).

Consider then, this workshop as a learning place. It is relaxed, and artistic. Your keyboard and/or paper journal – your canvas; words – your paint and these lessons, where you will open your mind to artistic possibilities with your written words.

As time permits I will introduce you to a Haibun Assignment. Yours to complete at your desire. No time limits just a potential catalyst to spur you on.

I wish you good fortune in your writing,

~ Penny