Some weeks I got nothing going on. Nothing in an artistic sense that is. This was one of those weeks. I can’t always predict them but usually they have to do with being distracted by something in life. That was this week. I had none of my usual projects going so I tried some different things.

Fist off I tried getting some writing done. I’ve been writing a couple of things regularly and haven’t had a lot of trouble getting them done. The first thing is this blog. I seem to be okay with writing this once a week. It only takes a couple of hours a week and even though I’m late with writing it this week it’ll post at the same time as always. I’m used to finding time for it. Habit is a powerful thing.

The second thing I’ve found time to write is my “Four Talking Boxes” comic strip. I write five of those a week and each one takes about half an hour to do. I used to do them after dinner or just before bedtime but it got harder and harder to find that time. So I started writing them as I got ready in the morning. I think of ideas in the shower or as I get out of it and just before I get dressed I turn on my desktop computer and open up my laptop on which I do my writing. It takes a few minutes for my desktop to turn on and get all my programs opened up (it’s getting old) and while I’m doing that I’m writing a strip. I often think up the next line as I’m putting my socks on. Socks seem good for that.

It’s the third writing thing that I haven’t been able to get done. I was working on a comic book last year at a pretty good clip. I had twenty five pages drawn and was at the point where I was scripting it. I got ten pages of that done and then just stopped. I mean nothing. For months. I couldn’t find the time and desire to do it. Unless you actually sit down and do something it doesn’t get done. It’s the same story with the little red sketchbook project that I started ages ago. I got a good chunk of it written and then nothing. I’ve got a couple of other book-like things in the works too. I think it’s that I like the visual arts more than the written word.

So this week I tried to use my drawing to jump start some writing. But it wasn’t my usual drawing. I tried something new. Instead of my usual spontaneous ink drawing with pen I decided to go with a brush. I used a brush all the time and have used it before with spontaneous ink drawings but this time I decided to draw small with it. I used some of my baseball card size pieces of paper and tried to make some figure drawings on them. Drawing the human body three inches tall makes the brush big and clunky and that was what I was looking for.

I made a bunch of these drawings and then added some writing ideas to them. Little sentences and things that went with the images. I wanted to get some words down to see if that would open my mind. I got tired of the mess of small drawings after a little while and decided to use a sketchbook. I looked over at my pile of small unused sketchbooks that I have lying around and there was one that fit the bill. It was a wire rimmed 3.5×5 inch book. The paper was a little thin for ink but it got the job done.

All those little ink drawings lead me to try another writing idea. One I did briefly many years ago. I grabbed one of my 5.5×8.5 inch sketchbooks and started to make some ink drawing comics. That’s when I draw a panel with some pictures in it and then draw word balloons and drop some words in them. I’ve never been able to make anything finished using this method but it’s a pleasant distraction for a little while. It’s a weird little technique that usually ends up splitting my focus between drawing and writing in a way that doesn’t end up yielding anything but a confusing babble. But it’s always a bit of fun before it isn’t. I spent about an hour one day doing this before I finally decided to start writing the comic I wanted to write. So I pulled out the finished ten pages of “Organics” that I had written.

Last time I had tried to continue my writing of this comic I printed out the pages I had done so that I could refer to them on paper rather than on screen. I read through them. It was interesting because even though I had written them I hadn’t seen them in so long that I forgot all but the most basic story that I had written. I thought I did a pretty good job with them except inexplicably I hadn’t written the second half of page eight. That was strange.

I did manage to write the next seven pages though. I thought that was pretty good. I picked up on things easily once I sat down (or stood up) and actually wrote the thing. It turns out that was the key to getting in written. Finding a path to wanting to get it done and then doing it.

I’m still not sure what I want from all those little ink drawings though. I liked a lot of them but I’m not sure if I can make anything finished out of them yet. They did give me a lot of images to post in Instagram though. I often post my drawings and such on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Having a lot of small drawings seemed to fuel me to do so. After all I was making a lot of them so at least a few people could see them then.