237. Stones

During this blog, I’ve repeatedly returned to my need to draw and tried to argue why I should ‘keep the flame’ and then musing about how to do it. The problem is I’ve failed every time.

The previous considerations about everything from my concrete drawing projects to the deeper philosophy behind this part of my life may be true in a certain context, and may have been true, but since I am continually not drawing … something is clearly wrong.

So I sat down today and started thinking it all through, while taking care of Jay, dishes, mailing customers and all the rest. The evenings are relatively quiet after 9-10 PM and a whiskey will do wonders for the inquisitive mind.

Bullshit, of course, but what matters is that I really, really tried to be honest with myself.

And I’ve found that my key motivation for drawing is not that I ‘have to’. I don’t have to – at least not as much as that statement implies. (I think I compared it to breathing!).

The true cause of me fretting about how and when to draw, and trying again and again to draw something to do with a story – such as a new comic book, or an illustrated novel … that true cause is probably because I felt special because I could draw as a kid.

I was told I was special and I was. Because I was good. And I was. At a great many things. But this particular thing outranked all the others, and I knew it.

And somehow, I think, that got stuck in my soul. As a belief now that I’m grown up that I am wasting something precious and becoming less than I could be, by giving up drawing – at least for anything else than doodling once in a while. Maybe illustrating the occasional live-talk or other limited project.

It’s hard to explain and I can’t 100 percent sure but I think this is the truth. Because I have constantly thought as the primary reason to continue to try to find time and energy and projects to draw … that I should do this because otherwise ‘I’m wasting talent’.

Or: ‘a precious part of me’.

Or something similar. I wrote down a lot of notes the other day, when I tried to get to a bottom of this.

There may truly be other, relevant motivations but they are not good enough, or not enough all together. I have not drawn a comic book since I was 23 and now I am 43. And there is no reason I should do so again. Or any other ‘big project’ like that.

Much as I enjoy drawing there are plenty of reasons I should not, or a least not make it a major priority to get a ‘Big Drawing Project’ done before I die. Because:

… I am now at a point in life where I am equally passionate about a great many other things, and more so about some things – like writing my Carrie novellas

… I have a purpose, or a sense of purpose, that I can live via The Blog – namely share my life experience quickly, efficiently.

… I have income sources that are much, much better and that I enjoy more and where I help more people directly, like my webdesign business

… I don’t have time and energy because of my family, work, etc. And the time and energy I do have I’d rather spend on my friends or The Blog or something else

… I don’t have anyone I’d really like to do a Big Drawing Project with, as I did in my early 20’s and late teens when I had friends I worked with on a comic book. And I do need that. It is a major motivation and support. But more importantly, I feel I don’t really care to find these friends again. I’d rather find some friends with whom to do something more world-changing, like maybe a project for storytelling online (like Humans of New York) about the people we usually forget.

… I could go on, but you get the idea.

Every time, though, I’ve tried to tell myself these things in order to get going on my various drawing projects again or leave them behind for good, I’ve felt stuck. I’ve not moved very much on the projects, but I’ve not been able to make a full stop either: Limbo.

And one thing kept me there: The voice in my head saying ‘If you stop you are wasting your talent – betraying something precious in your soul’ Etc. Etc.

Well, what about all my other precious talents and skills? And am I really that good? No, not any more because I have not polished my skill seriously since 1994. And that means right now I’m just a mediocre artist who can do good pencil portraits and not much more.

I think this is it. I think this voice inside me that harks back to school days and a boy’s need to be affirmed is the cause. I think that part of me never truly has gone away.

It’s not that I don’t like to draw. It’s not that it’s not been precious to me. It’s not that I don’t feel this isn’t something special about me.

I do. I has been. It is.

But it’s not enough.

And the motivation – the core motivation – for keep going with this ‘I should do a Big Project or at the very least my very own personal comic book etc. etc’ … it is skewed.

It is like trying to get married because you lack self-confidence to be alone. You may really want sex, partnership even love – to some degree. But if the core motivation is skewed, it will always be … skewed. A stone in the soup.

So I have to let go.

Maybe then I can finally get some more drawing done.

When I really feel like it.