Portrait of a busy girl

It’s been another busy week in the land of Lynsey, what with trips to London and nasty work deadlines, so I haven’t done any of the things I should have. Nothing has been packed yet, not one story has been revised since last weekend and I’ve barely written anything new all week. So what did I do last night when I got back into town? Doodled instead, typical! I have to say though, after re-discovering charcoal a wee while ago I’ve remembered how much I like drawing.

Lynsey May self portrait charcoal

As you can see, this is not the most finished of pictures and I had to take a photo rather than a scan, but still, I’d say this portrait is a good example of my grumpiness levels when I’ve not had enough time for reading, writing or seeing my most lovely friends. I’m not really sulking though, I’m still too happy about the way various things are working out at the moment. Also, I have a massive stack of new books and comics to read this weekend – yay!

A change is as good as a rest

It’s a nice saying, and it has some merit, but as someone who worked two jobs for a good chunk of time, I can safely say the novelty wears off pretty quickly. Everyone needs some down time and maybe a few of the good distractions I was on about earlier in the week thrown in for good measure. No relaxation time at all and you definitely start getting strange (right Dave?).

drawing of an old manBut sometimes it isn’t so easy to let yourself rest and that’s when a secondary goal comes in handy. The last few months haven’t been the best for writing, mainly as I’m too fractious about the whole flat thing, so I’ve been drawing a little instead. It’s good because I feel like I’m keeping some kind of creative hand in, but I don’t feel the same need to be good – or even constantly improving.

This is a pic I did the other week – which Ink kindly put a little colour in for me – and I could feel myself relaxing loads the whole time I was drawing it so i think it probably doesn’t count as procrastination, right? Right?

Writing, a flattering self reflection?

There’s been some downtime in my writing world recently, partly due to work and life commitments and partly because I’ve been letting a story stew awhile. Now the time has come for me to get back into it and I’m very glad about it.

Not writing seems to mean that I have too much time to become introspective, and not in a good way. Writing, on the other hand, allows me to be pretty damn self indulgent but in a constructive (ha) way. It lets me bleat on and on about the things that are important to me, but it forces me to make the telling entertaining. I feel sorry for my real life friends who tend to get the unedited – and very vocal – versions.

This has all been making me think about that old chestnut, how much of what a writer writes is actually the writers’ self oozing out on the page?

I haven’t got an answer, but I reckon all my stories are made up of the dust, blood and hair my body can survive without.

It can be easy to bury yourself deep in the fiction though, even make it near impossible for the reader to really appreciate what essence of you is hidden away in it’s core. And with that thought in mind, I thought I’d chuck in an unfinished self portrait.

Lynsey May Self Portrait

This doesn’t look much like me at all, it’s more like me trying to make myself look more attractive and being let down by my drawing skills.

Maybe the same thing can be said for my stories: they are meant to show the me I’d like to be, but the really show my clumsiness and inability to transcend everything that makes me, me.

What’s a picture worth in prose

Seeing as so much of writing is in the visualisation I set myself a task a while ago; to sketch all of the main characters in the work in progress. And seeing as there was a good reason I studied lit and not art, the results weren’t exactly amazing. 🙂

However, I did find it a really useful way of putting a physical face to my new friends – even if it was because I was thinking ‘well, she won’t look anything like THAT’. Now I’m wondering how many prose writers out there sketch characters, maps, layouts or even fashion designs for their stories?