Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Sketchbook.

Previously, I considered the scariest thing in my creative brain to be the blank page.  That's more than a writer's cliche.  It is my reality.  A blank page is scary enough that I will fill it up with crap just so it is no longer a blank page.  Fortunately, that is part of my process.  I vomit something out, worry that if I die in that moment and my friends and family read the contents of my computer my epitaph will read, "She tried real hard", clean it up into something more tolerable, have a breakthrough, clean it up again, read it too many times, and print it.  It is my process, and I've come to love it.  Like I love flossing.

The Blank Page.  It ranks up there with old journals, knowing a burner has been left on at home, and back taxes on the scale of things that make me feel like doom is around the corner.

Until The Blank Sketchbook showed up.  Move over, first night of internship for fancypants chef, first greenlight to write an article for a national magazine, and getting married.  The Sketchbook Project delievered a whole new level of who-the-eff-do-you-think-you-areness.

So, I thought about it, the who the eff do I think I am.  At present, I am someone scared of a sketchbook.  All those years of having the recurring nightmares where someone was trying to drown me, ghosts who tried to reach inside my chest and steal my soul (which is a translucent white line running the length of my spine, by the way, thank you Piers Anthony whose books I stole off my father's shelves in high school), and the stress dreams where I was told that I didn't actually graduate high school thus nullifying my credentials since then, you know, the nightmares where I woke my loving compadre in the middle of the night by screaming in my sleep; meet Sketchbook, the new terror in town.  And, Sketchbook has been sitting here for two weeks, unopened, gaining strength, like Syria, or a forgotten container of yogurt. This may be a two-glass-of-wine night.

The thing goes on tour.  People will see it.  I have no qualifications for that, I just thought it would be fun to dust off the college art skills.  But, the most awesome thing about my writing process is, while writing this post, the breakthrough arrived, on schedule. I now know what I am going to do with the sketchbook to fill it.  I'm not joking.  I sat down, started cleaning up this drivel, and it came to me, how to fill the sketchbook by December 15. That is why this post has this ending, not that one. Take the keys away, she's going in for a second glass of wine.

So yes, this post is like writing a song about writing songs.  You can do it once in your career, twice if you've shagged your producer and you're writing a film soundtrack about rock stars.  So, thanks for reading to this point.

The best piece of advice that everyone's been told in this business: If you don't enjoy the process, find a different line of work.  I love you, writing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! So true about facing the dreaded blank page! Love the sketchbook project. Good luck and look forward to reading yours someday.



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