It’s hard to start writing again. After almost nine months off, it’s taking a while for the story juices to start flowing. So the best thing to do is doodle. Just write something until you get where you want to be. Clean it up later, or throw it out. The important thing is just get something down.
Trixie is pretty good at getting something down. Better than I am and most adults I know. This is not a Trixie thing, but something I’ve noticed with all toddlers. In general, they rock at arts and crafts.
I love stuff like that. It’s pretty awesome to watch kids get so absorbed without worrying about the consequences of what they are making. It gets a lot harder once you start learning the rules of art and social pressure starts creeping in. Or even worse if you study art and end up paralyzed because you realize everything has already been done before. Thankfully, 2-year-olds are protected from that kind of knowledge.
Trixie is a machine when it comes to doodle time. I have sometimes just taped down a bunch of sheets of paper to the table and she’ll draw on one, advance, draw some more, advance and so on. Who knows what criteria determine the completion of a sheet? Sometimes she claims she’s drawing something specific, but more often it’s just an exercise to consume resources. The pressing issue for her is not “how does this fit into the social construct of post-modernism”, but rather, “how much glitter glue can be squeezed onto this paper when Daddy is not looking?”
I’m definitely proud of her, and I’ve included two pieces I really like. I forgot to date them, but they were done in the last 2-3 months. (that’s how long I’ve been procrastinating this story). They aren’t necessarily typical pieces. For the handful I’ve kept, literally hundreds (and probably thousands) have been thrown away.
If she saw me dumping them in the trash, I suspect she’d get upset. Otherwise, she doesn’t care a bit what happens after she’s done. We might hang one or two for a while, but it’s not the result that matters. It’s all the process — just being able to zone out and grind a crayon into oblivion for an afternoon.