I bought a cheerful yellow notebook and a black ballpoint pen this week, thinking that I would carry it around with me and then write in it whenever I thought of an idea. It’s been a week and I managed to be fairly successful at the “carry it around with me” part. Now I have to work harder at actually writing stuff down in it. Baby steps, baby.
Oh, but it’s not to say that I didn’t use the notebook. Just that I didn’t quite use it the way I originally intended. I shouldn’t be surprised, I guess, for even the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.
Most creative types suffer from vacansopapurosophobia (hey look, I used a big word) which translates simply as the fear of the blank page. I am your typical creative person, so yup, I suffer from it too. A blank page is perfection. It is pristine and complete; it doesn’t need anything else besides itself. Then someone (me!) comes along and messes it up by writing on it. It makes me feel bad when I create something not worthy of the paper it is on. A blank page is sacred and even more sacred is the first blank page.
Which is why after writing “Dinashud” on the first page, I stopped. I looked at my ugly handwriting and I stopped adding any more words to the page. But I need to continue, because if I don’t, I will never get past this hurdle. Faced with this impasse, I did what comes most naturally. I doodled.
As you may know, I’m currently writing a story set in a fictional city called Dinashud. So I drew a map of sorts of the areas surrounding Dinashud city. Not sure why I did that since the story is going to take place totally in the city so none of these areas will appear at all.
Overall though, I felt this map turned out rather well, considering that I didn’t plan anything before I started drawing. Of course this is not the final version, and already I could see some parts which needed changes. The lake is too big and I forgot to add an airport.
So that’s day one. On the second day, I doodled again. I tried to draw Dinashud city which I felt turned out to be one big chaotic mess. So buildings are 2D, some are 3D, the perspective is all wrong, nothing is to scale, places are cramped together and not where I really want them to be because I’ve reached the edge of the page. To sum it up: ARGH!
I showed the doodles to Pooh Bear who asked, “Why do you even buy a lined notebook if you are just going to draw in it?”
Good question. I know why, because a lined page is less scary (although still pretty scary) than a totally blank page.