In lieu of a written blog post, here are a few more doodles that bubbled up from my brain in the last month.
Other posts in the “Doodle a Day” series:
Sometimes writing in my journal feels too much like work, so I turn to my storyboard Moleskine and doodle instead – it’s never difficult to fill a simple little rectangle with something that comes to mind. I never try to read too much into what comes out on the page and you shouldn’t either. I have to admit that some of this latest batch is influenced by Graham McCallum’s book “400 Art Deco Motifs“, which is a recent source of inspiration.
Research tells us that “doodling improves concentration” so we should all do more of it.
Want more? Here is a link to my other doodle postings.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is well on its way to being a classic and an essential rite of passage for anyone who wants to write for pleasure or professionally.
Julia Cameron has set herself the mission of debunking the myth of “writers” being some special class of human being who must starve in a garret for the sake of their craft and uses her words to gently liberate and nurture the essential writer that she believes lies in every person.
The accumulated wisdom of her years as a working writer and a creative writing teacher is presented in a series of short essays (each just a few pages long) that finish with a practical “initiation tool” to bring the reader to the page with pen in hand.
This book can be approached either as a “writing course” to be worked through over a couple of months, but I suspect it will be of more value as something to dip into as an “unblocking tool” or when inspiration is flagging. If read from cover to cover, like a normal book, the author’s tendency to repeat the same themes tends to lessen their impact and there is no detectable unfolding of a journey that links the chapters; they stand alone. So, it is best considered a collection of essays that meditate upon Julia’s core convictions that the act of writing is for everyone to enjoy and it doesn’t need to be a chore.
Some of the essays really clicked with me, others didn’t seem to meet a felt need directly but may well do for another season. On this reading, I particularly enjoyed Julia’s affirmation of the writer as an observer of things that seem to enter the imagination from another source: the Divine, the Universe, something beyond ourselves. This certainly describes a dimension of my own experience.
Julia’s style is richly evocative of the senses. She always describes where she is as she is writing. She then seems to weave her message from her current experience or whatever is turning over in her mind at the time. Some of her lines have the potential to become proverbs and I found myself copying out numerous quotes into my journal. I did not attempt all of her initiation tools in any sort of disciplined way but used several over the last year and will return to them repeatedly.
The Right to Write has been a good companion over the last year and will bear returning to again, especially on those days when I feel that perhaps I should give up and get a proper job.
Blame three things for this post and all that follow it in a similar vein.
Firstly, I have been following a series of posts on this | liminality where Barbara has been meditating on 26 seashells given to her by a friend and posting on each of them in turn; weaving something of her present state of mind and sense of place with the thoughts suggested to her by each seashell. The idea behind this project has not only intrigued but haunted me in an unexpected way. The sense that objects can prompt insights and fire the imagination resonates with my own quest to find the supernatural dimension in the everyday and commonplace.
The ability to anchor our inner self to the outer world through the power of symbolism is a huge part of what it means to be human.
Secondly, several months ago I went to a local bead shop to purchase an array of beads for our youth group to use in making their own “prayer bracelets”. I wanted them to explore the things they had learned on a weekend away, to find beads to symbolise those things and literally bind them on their wrists. When I told the sales-person of this she became very interested and very helpful in choosing beads. But, she also showed me a bracelet that she was wearing that was made purely from items that she had found. It is amazing what gets left lying around. Every component of the bracelet, therefore, had a mysterious history and was also associated with a time and a place and a moment in her life.
It was not long after this that I developed my own string of beads as a visual reminder of my values and priorities.
Thirdly and finally, David from “My Seed of Truth” contacted me recently about writing a piece of short fiction to string together some of the themes from his life that have lead to the “My Seed of Truth” project. It was while turning over a few ideas for a story last night that I hit upon an idea for another sequence of blog posts … the wisdom of Things Found.
I’m not alone in being a hoarder of Objets Trouves, from curiously shaped or coloured pebbles and bits of glass to twigs and pine cones and broken jewelry. My plan is to bring some of these found things to light and to see what they might have to say. Sometimes God speaks unexpectedly through the things we see, sometimes they prove to be the key that unlocks an insight that has waited for the right moment … who knows what might be discovered through the Wisdom of Things Found?
Verbatim – a blog of found poetry
this | liminality – Seashells, poetry and other good stuff
I have kept journals since I was about 15 years old and they have always provided a rich fermentation of ideas that has fueled various creative projects over the years. Earlier this year I found things getting a bit stale (as they do periodically) and I switched to producing a “doodle a day” instead of expecting myself to write (they now have their own Flickr Set). This is now an occasional activity rather than a daily one but since I try to do something visual on this blog at the weekends, here are a few of the more recent doodles.