Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Picture-a-Day Keeps Me Writing Away

When it comes to being a writer, commitment is key. Without it, you won't finish writing a novel. You won't finish reading a book. You won't keep your house clean or get healthy or you name it. To be committed is to make your dreams tangible, to actually do the thing you think and talk about.

I am committed to my dream of becoming an author. But sometimes when life is difficult, making a daily investment to that commitment feels beyond possible. Most days my mind is so muddled from work, stress, depression, and any number of other things that I am mentally incapable of thinking about my story and where it needs to go next. Add in other things that require my time (housework, reading, working out, Captain Italian) and I am lacking both time and mind, two things necessary to reach my dream.

Part of overcoming depression (for me, at least) is knowing that I can't let bad days spiral out of control and become bad weeks, because before I know it, it will be many bad months past before I realize I've not taken any more steps toward my dream. When I have a bad day, I try to do something to counteract it. Working out, sleeping, watching TV, or just relaxing in some way as to force my mind to shift away from the bad to the good. However, these things, like I said above, take up time, sometimes too much and then even if I feel better, I can't write because it is time to do something else.

I have heard, and feel that it is true from my own experience, that working with your hands helps aid in relaxation of the mind. Finger painting is my favorite way of doing this, but even just writing by hand or coloring works the same way.

So to help me save both time and mind, I decided that every day before I write, I will draw a picture. I bought a sketch book and a set of colorful permanent markers for the job. Now, I am not an artist. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The best thing I ever drew was a dinosaur in the first grade and I never got any better at it.

But I wanted to share this new commitment here on the blog to help keep me accountable. I'm hoping that by the end of January, I will be drawing a picture and writing for at least 30 minutes every single day, and I hope to continue this for the rest of the year. The thought is that when I draw the picture (I start with an open box, like this |__|), I will go to writing directly after completing it, thus using one commitment to spur another.

I'm still shaky on this, not quite into the routine I want, but I'm getting better at it. I plan to do update posts which will help keep me accountable as well as allow you to see the colorful fruit of my labors.

I apologize in advance for the train wreck of artistry you will witness this year at my hand. What I draw is solely based on what I'm thinking about at that time, and more than likely, it will not make any sense. I will try to explain them the best I can, if they are, in fact, explainable.

Here are the first two weeks of my Picture-a-Day commitment. You will probably laugh. You're welcome.

01/01/12 - Happy New Year and fireworks!
01/02/12 -I slept a lot that day.
01/03/12 - Sunny with no chance of snow.
01/04/12 - It rained a lot but rain does not equal snow.
01/05/12 - Come to think of it, pluses don't equal minuses.
01/06/12 - Crazy eyes and eyebrows as seen on TVD.
01/07/12 - The real actors on TVD, the eyebrows.
01/08/12 - I call this Zuglorse. Zebra/Ugly Horse.
01/09/12 - Happy does not equal sad.
01/10/12 - Happy birthday to me!
01/11/12 - Stick figures Just Dancing and one is winning.
01/12/12 - It snowed! Hooray!
01/13/12 - I blame you, Templars, for giving 13 a bad rap.
01/14/12 - How I often feel during workouts.


  1. What a neat idea! Love the drawings!

  2. Great idea! It's always good to relax when you're overwhelmed, or just a little down. I've painted a little bit and found it relaxing, even if I'm just applying a base coat to a project.


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