More about doodling

I wrote last week a little about doodling.  I’ve no doubt that most readers will shun such an exercise, claiming they just can’t draw.  The old, ‘I can’t draw a straight line’ is oft repeated. 

Get over it, folks.  No one’s interested in straight lines anyway.  Doodling is not about drawing, it’s about making marks on paper.  It’s about saying yes to yourself. 

Have you seen a child who draws something and then decides he’s made a mistake and, in horror, refuses to continue until the mistake is eradicated?  Most of us discontinue our creative attunement at this juncture, remaining childish in our understanding.  But the growth pattern is to encourage the child to make something out of his mistake, to see it as raw material and to go on from there.  A wonderful children’s art teacher I know says, ‘You don’t make mistakes, you just change your mind.’

Making marks on paper is a way to let expression flow through you, and a serious practice in self-affirmation.  When I started drawing for the first time, a mere few years ago, I was all the time cancelling my urges with self-criticism.  Doodling taught me to say yes to the spontaneous me, no matter how dumb or clumsy the line was on the paper.  By allowing one line to lead to another, by letting the drawing inform me instead of the other way around, I came to appreciate a vastly wider horizon of possibility for me and my world.

Our reliance on things digital means that interaction with pencil and paper is increasingly rare.  What’s the consequence of placing these instruments by your computer and filling waiting moments with your doodles?  Notice your energy flow as you follow this routine through the working day, and send me a comment about it!

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