My girls and I recently started taking karate classes and we are having a lot of fun. In addition to the karate, I also started kickboxing at the same venue. So, having gone almost two months without quitting both, despite the intense workouts involved, I have been reflecting a lot on how both activities can help me to be a better blogger and poet. Here are some observations:
- Karate requires a lot of discipline. Discipline to show up for class, wear the proper uniform, practice the kicks and punches, staying the course for the ultimate black belt. Blogging and poetry writing also require discipline; carving out time to post, finding time to connect with your readers, experimenting with new styles, taking time to read other poets' works. I must say that I am having an interesting time reading the works of the poets I feature each month on my blog.
- Kickboxing is fast-paced, and perhaps the most challenging activity I have ever undertaken. I really find it rewarding just to punch out my frustrations on the punching bag. In my writing, there are times when I get frustrated with my lack of productivity, or when plans go awry. I am learning to take things one punch at a time. There are great days in the kickboxing class though, when the instructor acknowledges that I did a great job. It is also heartwarming when readers give a totally unsolicited great review of my poetry collection. As a new poet, that is encouraging.
- Partnership and teamwork are key in both these activities. In karate, sparring is used to teach techniques and to promote cooperation among students. Through sparring, I am getting to know my classmates better, and we encourage and support each other, as we perfect our kicks and blocks. So too with my blogging and poetry. I have met some interesting bloggers who have taken the time to comment on my blog, promote my book, and from whose postings I am learning so much. Through my blog, I have also had the chance to interview some interesting and internationally acclaimed poets, such as Easton Lee and Kwame Dawes.
- I am still at the white belt, beginner's stage in karate. However, my eye is on the black belt prize. While not every poet may have many awards in their future, my hope is that my writing will improve with each collection, and that as a blogger, I will always strive for quality content that I can share with my readers.