I like to write about the small things. The things in life that get forgotten. That’s what I wrote about on this blog for many years. A small incident here and there, a bike ride, an idea or observation I had about something, some TV shows that I watch, and something about whatever I happen to be working on. It might not be what most people are interested in but I like the small things that make up life. It’s a strange process coming up with things to write about though. Like any other writer I have often found myself wondering what I was going to write about for any given week. That’s not an uncommon thought as you often hear writers wondering where their next idea is coming from. People are also forever asking creative types, “Where do you get your ideas from?”. The answer is that you have to think them up. There is no reservoir of ideas to pull from besides your own brain.

This year I turned off my usual path of writing about the small things to write about my art. I figured it was about time I did. I wanted to write some stuff down before I forget it all. Nobody was asking me about it but that’s why I thought I’d write it down. I’m likely to forget long before anyone asks me about my work. But once again I was faced with that question, “What am I going to write about this week?”. It took me a while to figure out how to write about my art. Back in January I was struggling with where to even begin. I do a lot of different things and am not well known for any of them so I could start anywhere. I eventually decided on stating with the basics, drawing, and moved on from there to cover most of the mediums that I work in.

Now I’ve got it down when it comes to writing about my art. I know where to start and I know where to go. I have an idea on how things all tie together. It’s a good feeling to know that I can figure things out like that. I can take a random piece of mine from years ago, analyze it, and stick it into some sort of context with the rest of my work. It’s nothing I had even thought out to a large extent before. That’s what writing about things does for me. It lets me think about things and then organize my thoughts into something cohesive.

This week a funny thing happened on the way to me doing my writing for the week. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about another piece of mine or take a break and get back to the type of blog writing that I had done in the past. I decided to sit back and rack my brain a little bit about the small things in life to see if I could come up with a suitable topic. That’s when I realized I was out of practice and couldn’t remember how to do that. The process was gone.

Writing about my art and writing about life turned out to be two different processes that worked differently. My art writing has turned into a matter of looking for a piece to write about, putting that piece in context, discussing a bit of its history, writing about technique, figuring out my intentions, and figuring out what the piece might be saying. That’s after all the stuff I had written about the mediums I work in generally.

Writing about everyday small things is a whole different beast. In order to do that I have to be more active about it. Sort of the old newspaper columnists question of “Can I get a column out of this?”. Since I’m writing about the small things that seem destined to be forgotten that doesn’t mean that I’m going out on adventures looking for stuff to write about but it does mean that I always have to have my eyes and mind open to let in things that I might write about. I have to notice how my socks are wearing out differently these days. Is it me or the socks? I have to notice that my bin of dice that I pick up dice from and arrange them as if they were a zen garden is getting too cluttered for me to see the dice properly. I have to notice that my comic book buying habits have changed in the last year and I’ve barely gotten hardcover collection this year yet have picked up many new monthly series.

Any one of those casual observations could turn into some sort of blog for me. But I have to notice them. When writing about such stuff for years that portion of my brain was always on the look out. Sometimes I’d have to turn it on though. I’d have nothing in mind for the week, turn on my brain, and then come up with something in a little while. Sometimes I’d even sit down with no idea what to write and see if something would appear. It often did. I have never been afraid that no ideas would come but I’d be afraid that they wouldn’t show up when I wanted them to. That has happened too. I sit down to write something, even if I had an idea, and nothing good would come out. That’s when I know to stop and come back later. Usually things will be better later.

I had forgotten this whole process this year. The different process of writing about my art pushed it out of my mind. I sat down to write about some small thing and nothing was there. I couldn’t figure out where my ideas had gone. It was weird. All I could think about was analysis. I eventually cleared that out of my mind and tried to get back to my mindset of small life observations. It took a while. I still not sure if both processes can play well together. We’ll see.