I’ve lately been sketching scenes that are inside my head onto paper. They’re memories that one would more typically journal, but here I am randomly drawing them in a spiral notebook. The drawings aren’t very good, but I don’t care. I’m just doing it because, well, for no reason at all.
It reminds me of a time when I worked in the corporate world and one of my editors was writing a book. He had used up his vacation time and needed a week off to spend 24×7 writing, so he could meet his publisher’s deadline. I gave him the week without pay and when he returned, he sat in my office and told me he didn’t write a word. I remember him saying I was the only one who would hear this confession. He was too embarrassed to tell anyone else at the office that every time he sat at his desk, instead of writing, he drew with colored pencils. I remember responding without alarm, rather indicating he probably did exactly what he needed to do, something to free his imaginative thinking. If he’d forced himself to write, the result probably would’ve been unusable.
I recently discovered by chance, via online literary trolling, The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind, a new book published by Findhorn Press. What captures me is author Cat Bennett’s concept that drawing is a process that can help us get out of our linear thinking and worrying mind. She begins the book’s preface, writing: “To be creative is to make something new or to make new connections between ideas that already exist.”
You can access the first 33 pages of The Confident Creative on the publisher’s Web site. For best viewing, mouse over the Flash Player and click on “view in full screen.”
The aforementioned editor whom I worked with in the late 1990s published his book with Da Capo Press in 1999: Grateful Dead: What a Long, Strange Trip: The Stories Behind Every Song 1965-1995. As for me, who knows what ideas I’m connecting right now. I guess I’ll just keep going. According to Cat Bennett, you never know what will happen when you pick up a pencil.