If you’re not stretching yourself, trying to say something you’ve never said before, trying to give form to ideas that are truly new for you, writing is a breeze. It’s a walk in the park. Do you struggle to describe the ridiculous behavior of your annoying roommate? To express how you feel about what your dog did to your shoes? To recount what happened in some recent sports match? Probably not. If you were to write about these topics in an email, say, it would probably be a pretty cut-and-dried affair. But that is because the ideas you’re expressing are fairly simple, and the events are clear and on the surface.
I’d like to needlepoint the whole blog post on a pillow. A really, really big pillow.
Jessica Abel has been one of my favorite graphic storytellers for ages. Somewhere in the Ihnatko Archives, I have an early issue of her “Artbabe” series…printed at Kinkos and hand-stitched with red yarn.
But I discovered her blog only recently, and it’s brilliant stuff. Her series on “getting your creative work unstuck” is true, important, and inspirational. I’m so grateful that I happened to read it just before starting another long work session.
In the above piece, I love the balance between “you’re working hard and going through heck (try to stay out of hell, kids; it’s a silly place) because you’re trying to create great things” and “finish it.” It’s advice I’ve given to others, and yet it’s sometimes so hard for me to accept!
You do need to hear it from others from time to time…and I’ve never seen it expressed better than this.