Artists are often the tiniest bit obsessive (I say it like that – the tiniest bit) so I don’t offend those of you who read this blog. I try not to think about myself this way and then I look at the notebooks on my desk, or the directories on my computer, and find that I may be slightly more than the tiniest bit obsessive.

Not all the time, but definitely some of the time.

One of the times was the year 2003. This was before I published my first novel and was a time I think I was trying to avoid my obsession by working very hard, trying to learn to play the cello, and going out a whole lot. But I couldn’t – though I’m pretty sure I tried – avoid it completely. In fact, from the looks of it, I only managed to avoid it for approximately 8 days.

On that day I went out and bought a very expensive leather notebook and began a project that would occupy me for… well, almost of the year. 313 days of it to be exact.

I decided that I would write a poem every single day – and I did. Up to and including November 27.

A lot of them were haiku – especially at the beginning. The very beginning:

Tonight it begins
riding the Skytrain home. Dark

And a lot of them were about my frustrations trying to learn to play the cello. But reading that notebook now, almost ten years later, I’m proud of many of those poems.

Beloved ones.
I miss you
now you’re gone
the wood shavings still
and silent since you’re gone
the chain saw’s buzz
missing, the air clean
without it.


The moon is an egg in the pale blue sky,
floating low between glass-bonded buildings
A thousand-year egg,
cracked and marked with
special, expensive, rotten.

Put it on the menu anyway.

Obsession worked for me that year, kept me writing, kept me watching the world, observing and creating. Something different, something new, something worthwhile.



3 responses to “Obsession

  1. I think it’s what drives all of us writers. Even when I deliberately set my work aside, I stew over it.

    BTW, love that first haiku.

  2. “put it on the menu anyway”

    The moon, or the writing obsession?

  3. Obsession is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t kill you 😉

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