Outside interests pressing their nose against the glass

So I said earlier that I would post something I had drawn for the illustration course once I had actually managed to finish anything. Behold:



I keep starting on larger, more complicated things and then running out of time. Two and a half hours falls between my fingers, and it seems leaves very evidence little behind. I can get a fair old chunk of writing done in that length of time – not polished writing, but definitely closer to the shape and reach of my ideas than not.


I think it’s the fact that I am not intimidated by the idea of rewriting, of scrapping every letter I’ve put down to make the whole crisper, as good as I can make it, even at the cost of months of work, whereas with drawing, well, it’s just so much effort. Too much of a dissonance between the idea in my head and the poverty of my abilities on paper. Though, and of course, when I started writing poetry and stories, the gulf was just as great.

I am finding that, at the moment, there is just not the same level of dedication to the new form, and dedication is almost all in art. The drive to see the feeble scraps of a notion through to a union of coherence and polish, to something that exists in the real world – except, of course, writing is an odd, old form of magic, whereby the words require some kind of inward alchemy inside the head of the reader in order to act upon them, and with each reader, the recipe required and ingredients to hand are a little different. Illustration tries to compliment and clarify the already existing idea of a text, and this heavy lifting occurs in the head of the artist, for the most part.


At any rate, it’s worth experimenting in another area, to be able to look back over from the other side of the cliff, and say, “oh, that’s where my little rope ladder is going. ”


It might be sturdier, but that’s not quite the appeal. I just like the way it’s going up, and when away from it, I miss the roughness between my fingers…



Filed under consolations of writing, Edinburgh, The Now, Theory

4 responses to “Outside interests pressing their nose against the glass

  1. “the dissonance between the idea in my head and the poverty of my abilities”.

    Oh how I love that turn of phrase. Although you’re referring to your artwork, that’s spot on regarding my thoughts on my WIP.

  2. I think there is always a gap, for me, but the writing is less disappointing – maybe because I’m in the first rosy flush of the draft! Later comes the true hair-tearing.

  3. I’m with Lyra, that phrase leapt out at me. And the idea of the inward alchemy, which is something I think all artists understand.

    Well done with the drawing, too.

    • Thanks Averil! The idea of process, creation and bringing about a response – it’s all so hard to get to grips with, and reading other blogs, seeing how other writers at different stages of their lives and careers wrestle with these issues, is incredibly interesting…

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