Friday, April 25, 2014

And Baby Makes Writing And Drawing Happen

This is the fifty-sixth instalment of a daily writing practice. I started with the intention of doing it for one month. I'm now nearing two. It was been a good thing. Sometimes I have no idea what to write about but to date I have yet to skip a day. This exercise has allowed me to hone a skill long desired but generally dormant. I've wanted to do this for a long time but never made the time for it, never showed up to the office, so to speak. Now I am showing up and even doing some work.
    Six months ago my son was born. I never really imagined that being a parent would be part of my life but alas, it is so. This parenthood has forced me to face several pressing issues in my life, one being my penchant for putting things off until the boiling point. With a baby one can't really change the diaper later or make some toast for your hard working partner later. One gets out of bed and jumps into action at a moment's notice. One does things now in groggy states, in wakeful states, no matter.
    When I embarked on a daily writing habit, I wasn't sure what would happen. Several things did. The first thing I noticed was a severe release of pressure. Anxiety long slow-cooking in me and raging out at inopportune times was slowly dissipating. I was not fully released from it's grips of course but I was palpably helping myself. I was doing something good for me that didn't involve hedonism. I found that I was organizing my thoughts and feelings. I was expressing myself, first with memoir and later with personal essay. I reached into my memories and dragged old stories out, nothing earth shaking, nothing dramatic. It felt good, though. It was still a release. I'm sharing the occasional link on social networks and am getting the very occasional page hit or compliment. This is practice. If I pull off a year, I'll have more than enough raw material for some sort of book. If I don't have a book, I'll have a bunch of stuff I wrote.
    Two weeks ago I decided to add another small task to my already over full plate. I started a daily drawing routine. I would cut some four by six inch piece of card and draw a cartoon bunny on it with pencil. I would use a smudge stick to render it. When the drawing was finished I'd stamp my name on the back side, sign it and scribble the year. Then I'd slip it into a plastic collectors bag meant for manga books. I've sold two of these things for forty dollars each. This feels like I've already written about this. I cannot real whether I have or not and the last thing I'll do is slog through previous blog posts to see if I have.
    The drawing is keeping my hand limber. Bunnies are easy and fun to draw and come in a variety of moods and styles. It's all pencil so far, which I enjoy. It's less committal than ink and lends itself to fast techniques of shading.
    So I have a baby, a business that I am not neglecting, a new writing routine and now a daily drawing one. I don't go out as much anymore, I certainly am not drinking or getting high anymore. I have time, I have energy. I'm trying to work towers a plan that will continue to change my life for the better. So far so good.