“I used to think you had to draw the whole picture.”
So, one of my favorite things to do in school was doodle. I’d fill the margins of my notebooks with sprawling patterns, spirals and waves that blossomed across entire pages.
There was, and still is, something incredibly soothing/cathartic about the simple, repetitive objectiveless scribbling.
I do the same thing with words.
Especially when I’m stressed (cursed PONIES) or otherwise distracted (and thus unable to commit my attention to an entire novel), I doodle with words.
I’ll just start typing. Sometimes I spiral around a single phrase, like “I used to dream of…” or more simply, “I used to…”
“I used to…” is one of my absolute favorite doodle prompts. For some reason, it always leads to SOMETHING.
I’m a big believer in giving yourself permission to doodle. Not everything you write has to lead to something, has to be part of something. Sometimes you just have to let yourself, your mind, your pen…wander.
“I used to think that everything had to have an end.”
Now I know better. It’s never a waste of time to let yourself play. For me, the simple act of writing–whether it’s seemingly meaningless meandering or part of a larger endeavor–is a release. It makes me feel better. And if that means spending an hour spilling myself onto paper or into a word document with no intent, or at least no dependence, on a goal, an end game, THAT IS OKAY.
Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and a doodled sentence will lead to more. Sometimes it will be just a doodle. It’s all okay. Nothing is ever wasted. <— that's a personal philosophy, and one that applies both to experience and to writing.
This is a very wandering post, but that's what happens on a Sunday night. So let's sum up.
Doodling = good.
There, that was easy.