Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Things and nothings
This has been an odd week in its "unstructuredness". I haven't updated recently because I don't think I have much of anything to update. I've been cooking and cleaning and running errands and none of those things are of any interest to anyone, I imagine. In my spare time, I've been working on a few small watercolor paintings - just goofy stuff, and trying to write - something I usually refrain from doing outside the confines of NaNoWriMo in November. I've gotten the idea that maybe an actual novel would be as interesting to write as the one-month rush versions I have completed in the past. I've got a few ideas down. I have also started working my way through a book I picked up before we left: Fiction Writer's Workshop. The book has over 180 exercises and, though I tend to lack discipline, I am trying to slowly get all the exercises in the first chapter knocked out before I move along to the second.
I used to use my strange work schedule as an excuse to not write and not draw and paint. With that excuse gone, I'm finding out what I knew all along - the reason I don't write and paint is because it is difficult and playing computer games and wasting time on Facebook is easy. When I sit down with a fresh piece of watercolor paper and just begin doodling out ideas, I absolutely love the way it makes me feel. I feel blissfully concentrated... I lose track of time. I fall in love with the slip of ink on paper. I shiver at the scratching of the metal nib on the coarse grains. The puddles of watercolor make me grin as they bleed into each other, prodded this way and that by damp bristles. Then the picture is done, and I put it on the wall so I can look at it a hundred times a day while figuring out what I want to change next time. Writing is similar but, because I have done it far less, not quite as powerfully enjoyable. The problem I have is this - I love to paint and I love to write... and I hate to start either one. Something about staring at the blank page and thinking I have nothing to put on it terrifies me. So I sit and stare... and then go play more Scrabulous.