If you go back a couple of months – all the posts before I began posting through Lent, you’ll see that I used to include a drawing with each post, often of some kind of a stick man. When I started the blog, I really wanted to add some visual interest to the posts because it seems pretty clear to me that people are a lot less likely to spend as much time at a site where the site consists mostly of text…like mine.
I made a conscious decision to make my site very stripped down and simple. I didn’t want it to be visually enticing. I wanted to intentionally build something that was the antithesis of the sites that use visually enticing and stimulating images to get your clicks. I was building it with the assumption that I was going to be drawing people who, like me, had struggled or continue to struggle with looking at pornogrphy – who may be suckered in by sites with alluring clickbait ads. I wanted to build something that was the antithesis of that. I wanted this site to be an oasis.
So I felt like my stick figures were an appropriate addition to that idea. To be honest, they took a fair bit of my time and my posts were often held up by the completion of a doodle. So when I came to the point of wanting to make a commitment to post regularly over Lent I decided that if I was going to do that, I needed to let go of the Doodles…and they’ve yet to return.
I miss them.
If I could churn them out in a minute or two, as the simplicity of their composition would suggest I should be able to do, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but it’s actually kind of challenging for me. I’m not an accomplished artist, but I do like to come out with something that I’m happy with.
On top of this it is occurring to me that I set up my blog in a certain way because I was expecting a certain kind of person to come here, but I haven’t actually done any work to get this blog out there. I don’t feel terribly guilty about this. I’ve done a lot of work to build content – I’ve got a fair bit of that now, and I’ve also been trying to find out what this blog is about. I think I’ve got a good sense of that now. But I’ve done nothing to spread the word and as a result my plans for why I wanted this blog to look a certain way have never really been road tested.
So, as I think about my doodles, I also have an opportunity to think about how to get this blog out there and if I want to rethink the aesthetic. Maybe I should. But to be honest, I really want to bring back this stick people. I really love those guys and I want a chance to introduce them to a larger audience.
As I write about this I’m trying to think about how I can squeeze in some time each week for some more doodles. Nothing jumps to mind but I think I can do it. I used to draw my doodles in a sketch book and then I would scan them. This is a much easier way to get the doodles into the computer, but is not as portable. I could start to doodle during breaks at work in my notebook again. I could do this on the subway if I have a seat. I’m going to start looking for these opportunities.
One thing I really love about this writing thing is that it creates this practice where I’m intentionally reflecting on my life and writing about the places I see myself falling short of where I like to be. Then, once I’ve actually started to write about it, it forces me to think about the fact that there is nothing stopping me from trying to do something about this. It moves me into action.
It’s brilliant because I typically don’t find myself naturally moving into action. I tend to live in my head and think about things in a theoretical way and there are a lot of things that just stay up there unless I put them into words and have a chance to actually see them in a different way. Then, because I’m sharing it in a public forum, I move to the place of asking myself why, if this really is something I’m unhappy about, I don’t do something about it.
So, stay tuned for a return of the doodles. I’ve got my notebook in my bag and I’m sure I’ll be able to find a moment some time in the next few days to pull it out.