Today is my 33rd birthday, and I am ready to begin my first "Daily Doodle" of this trip around the sun.
So far, I've created my "Daily Doodle" web page, I've cut a 15" x 20" sheet of watercolor paper into eight 7 1/2" x 5" pieces (AKA my first eight daily doodles), I've found a smooth flowing black ink pen (Pilot G2-07), and some watercolor pencils, and here I am, hesitant to begin.
I want it to be good. That's the first problem. Or perhaps the real problem is all of the strategies I want to use to achieve this idea of "good." I want to plan it out, and have an idea of where I'm going, to give me confidence that I'll get to "good." The problem with that is a planned doodle is not a real doodle, it's a sketch.
So what makes a doodle a doodle?
A doodle is pure improvisation. It requires beginning with a mark and just playing from there, allowing yourself to wander across a page, live in the moment, cast aside all thoughts of trying to "get somewhere." . A doodle, like a good improv scene, requires you to take all of the ideas you had at the onset of your journey, and let them go, to be only in the here and now, simultaneously creating and responding to the present moment.
I'm afraid that the marks I'll leave will be less than what I want them to be, and that fear makes me hesitant to begin, hesitant to leap into that great white unknown with some black ink and leave my mark! Facing a blank page, I am starkly aware of the power of each choice I make. Anne Bogart wrote about the clear decisiveness required of a director in a choice as simple as placing a chair on stage because while that chair occupies that space, every other possibility that could happen in that space is killed off. Leaving a mark on a page, placing a chair on a stage, endowing a scene partner as a king or a cow, filling the space of my life with full authentic self expression without editing out the bits I'm unsure of first, requires warrior spirit.
To continue to train my warrior spirit, I'm raising the stakes for my inner samurai this year by committing to post each of my daily doodles on line, forcing myself to confront all of the fears that arise about being judged, and still create freely. So far, it's working: I'm aware of a completely different inner conversation facing a blank page I've committed to sharing, compared to a blank page in my sketch book/journal. There is an odd joy to this warrior training, and I feel a little naked. Fitting, as I begin, my next trip around the sun, bravely and vulnerably, wielding my inky sword.