When Jonathon Schwartz exited Sun Microsytems after it was acquired by Oracle, he signed off on Twitter with a haiku. A haiku paints a picture and stirs emotion with a brevity of language, three lines, that is all the more powerful because of its simplicity. It is harder to write less than more. A phrase famous for being the shortest verse in the bible is also the most moving — “Jesus wept.”
Microblogging and texting force us to self-edit every day. Yet there is little art in “Got 2 Go, TTYL (talk to you later).” In the race for speed, we often leave behind the desire to inspire. There can be great satisfaction in writing something that not only grabs people’s attention for its content, but for the very language itself. From Ernest Hemingway’s artistry and economy of words to the outrageous puns of the New York Post headlines we can see creative writing at its brief best. (My personal favorite Postism is the famous “Headless Body in Topless Bar.”)
For most of us, our words will be deleted within minutes, or only immortalized in some deep digital archive. But even so, artful language, like flowers, can make each day a little more beautiful. And so, I invite you to test your creative writing skills. Turn tomorrow into a Haiku day and with every tweet, Facebook post or email signature, make a splash on the digital canvas of language. I’ll get you started: Digital haiku/short but strong and powerful/language lovers smile.