I used to draw constantly as a kid. During high school and beyond I would whittle away night after night illustrating imaginative nonsense. Barring a few exceptions, those drawings are now stacked in a basement somewhere. They may never be gazed upon again. I never give it much thought.

At the time, and to this day, I understood that finishing the drawing was merely an end point. Not even a goal. Just a place where I had to stop and pull out a new sheet of paper. The fact is, it was the act of drawing that was so appealing. The ultimate distraction. The quelling of the incessant popcorn-maker that is my brain.

These days I’ve been writing as much as I used to draw. The schedule has changed - I like to write in the breaking hours of the morning rather than those wee ones - but the ritual seems to be quite similar. The pieces of paper are starting to pile up again.

Maybe there is something to be said for quantity. Maybe devaluing our own laborious strokes, be they pencil or key, and our own beloved ideas helps to wash away the arrogance and fear that can sometimes come with toiling relentlessly on what we make up in our minds as precious. Maybe all the magic we need is in that enormous pile, however watered down it may be in its raw form. Just waiting to be picked up and parlayed into something else.

All I know is it is a good ritual. If nothing else. It’s good at the moment. Existentially. What business do I have cooping up all these awesome stories in my little head anyway?

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