Monday, February 22, 2010

An Inspired Day

Today was all about getting things done: cleaning off some desk space, taking out the trash, following up on things I've let slip lately. I was expecting it would be a writing day, too -- I figure getting things done earns me a stretch of uninterrupted creativity, and I was looking forward to it. Ideas have been buzzing in my head lately.

But to my surprise, I couldn't get myself typing. Sitting at the computer, staring at the screen, rattling the keys, all of it felt like the wrong approach today. So instead, I stretched out in the sunlight, with fresh air blowing in through the windows, and started drawing. Pencils first, starting with the lightest 4H scratches until I had an idea of what I was putting down, then working my way up through the ranks of my Staedler-Mars box. As soon as my hands realised they had a reprieve from typing, they became exceedingly cooperative. The old strokes, lines and curves came back to me through the fingertips of memory. An hour or so later, I had a Stuff of Legends comic strip ready to be inked. This evening, the inks are dry, and two more pencil drafts are ready for their turn.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to the keyboard (I had to bargain with my hands for a blog post today; the rest of this comic strip story-arc will be hand-lettered instead of machine-done). The comic strip (of which I include a sample here) will appear over at the Comic Genesis site, and most likely I'll be working head-first whether I'm drawing or writing.

But some days, it does feel good to let inspiration take you by the hands.


PS: Publishers Weekly ran an article about the ABNA Contest; I'm quoted in it, if you're interested in such things.


  1. Congrats on the productivity. I think it's ALWAYS a good idea to have two creative outlets--sometimes you just can't force one, and it is better to turn to another than to blow the time off. I can't do anything but write, but I try to have a few lighter projects as back up when the WiP isn't flowing. Sometimes it is exactly what the doctor ordered to unstopper whatever is holding me back.

  2. Thanks! I've also had good results with switching from writing on the machine to writing sections out longhand when things stop flowing. Change is good.