I got a whole bunch of nothing today. I got nothing done and have nothing on my mind. Not my usual day. I tried to get nothing done yesterday but failed. I have a hard time doing nothing but I wanted a rest. Nothing is good for a rest. Even though I don’t like doing nothing a body needs some rest. Sometimes. Yesterday was the day I picked to get that rest and I almost did. I went for my usual bike ride and then sat down in my chair and stayed there most of the morning doing nothing. Well, maybe sometimes I was playing video games on my iPad. Plus I was listening to the radio. I don’t actually listen to the radio anymore, it was my computer that I was listening to radio shows on, but I still say the radio. Old habits.

Then yesterday at about lunch time my doing nothing ended. Some work needs to be done around the house so the workman hired to do the job showed up to start. The house is being painted so they needed to power wash it first. I find it hard to concentrate on doing nothing when the outside of the house is being power washed so I started doing something. I ended up doing something all day long and into the evening. Isn’t it funny that I can’t concentrate on doing nothing with something is distracting me but I can concentrate on something. The doing something distracts me from the thing that is distracting me. What a circle of concentration. Or a circle of distraction. I’m not sure which.

What I worked on to keep myself from being distracted is some cartoon art cards for my “Drifting and Dreaming” comic strip. I wasn’t finishing any of the strips themselves but I was making the cards which become the panels in the strips. I usually make them in batches of ten cards a piece (it takes three cards to make a strip) and this time was no exception. These are the cards in the strip that have a cartoon person with a word balloon above his or her head. First I draw the balloon, then I draw the person, write the words, and finally hand letter the words in the balloon. This is the only time I still do hand lettering and it’s not the best lettering in the world but I try.

There is a reason that the lettering is often the worst part of a comic when a cartoonist does the whole strip by himself. Or at least there is a reason that the lettering is often the worst part of my comics. It takes a lot of concentration to letter and I often find it hard to have any concentration left after writing and drawing a strip. I find it difficult to care about the lettering as much as the drawing even though I know I should. Lettering is not the same as writing. We usually don’t think about writing as we write words on paper. That’s why some people’s hand writing is hard to read. Lettering a comic has to be done in a way that is clear, pretty, and so everybody can easily read it. That is a whole different task than writing a shopping list. And it takes skill and craft. I often don’t have any of that left over after doing the rest of a comic.

I’ve finally got the lettering on my cartoon art cards at a spot where I think it’s okay. I’m on about my fifth type of lettering pen but I think I’ve finally settled on one that works for me. It only took me about three hundred cards. The lettering is not good but passable and I can get it done. That is the most important thing about making comics when you’re not getting paid for them. That you can do it. Not that it’s good. Not that it’s brilliant. But that it can get done. If I had my druthers my comic strip would be done just like the strips in the glory days of newspaper comics. Let’s say the 1930’s. I’d have models, reference material, and would spend the whole day working on a comic. It would be printed at a large size for everybody to read in their daily paper. But I don’t have the time to do it that way. So I have to do it in a way that I can actually get it done. That means I’ll never have the energy to make the lettering as perfect as I’d like but at least it’ll get done.

Of course today nothing got done. It was raining out so the painters weren’t able to work on the house but I did manage to sneak a bike ride in this morning. It was a damp ride but at least it wasn’t a wet one. After that I sat down in my chair and rested. There I stayed for quite a while. Maybe it was the rain or maybe general fatigue but there I stayed for a while. I had nothing. No energy and no ideas. Well, I had some ideas left over. If I wanted to I have a few projects lying around that I could have worked on but they all seemed like they could wait for another time. Before I knew it lunch time rolled around.

I can’t even remember what I did after lunch. Probably because it was nothing. I remember sitting in my chair at around two fifteen and thinking to myself that I’d get up and decide if I wanted to do something at around three. I was listening to a podcast then and before I knew it three o’clock rolled around. I could barely get out of my chair and could muster up no energy to get anything done. At about three thirty I decided to go for a walk. I actually had plenty of energy for that. I put on my headphones, grabbed my umbrella, and listened to some music as I walked. It was an energetic enough walk and it made me feel good. Luckily I didn’t need the umbrella.

Tomorrow I’m getting stuff done. I already know that I’m going to get some work done on my “Message Tee” comic. I’ve decided that. I always like to know what I’ll be working on for the day the night before. That helps me stay disciplined and get things done. That’s usually not hard for me to do. It’s usually harder for me to do nothing but not today. Today nothing ended up being pretty easy to do.