Picking Up the Pencil (with the Non-Dominant Hand)

left hand exercise

Dec. 6, 2013

First post in a long while but I decided to take out the graphite and do a little non-dominant hand exercise. It may be because I recently spent time with my sister-in-law, a fellow creative soul who inspires me every time I see her, which is far too little. (Please take a look at her beautiful, soul-bearing blog, The Not Me.

In doing this exercise, I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to override my brain’s natural tendency to want to change hands (I succeeded) or  that I’d have to make a concerted effort to not spend too much time on the sketch (I failed). This got me thinking about another, similar struggle to create anything of consequence–“of consequence” being, of course, an entirely subjective and judgmental idea. But, judging myself is something I usually excel at. The truth is that most days I do something creative, though it’s also true that most days I dismiss it.

This is what I do and what I’ve done far too frequently for about a decade. I sit at my desk ready to write (or even start to write) but the urge to switch to something more comfortable (Internet, home decor, dog petting, laundry) is constant. Some days I’ll draw but even that has become riddled with self-deprecation for me. So, I’ll invariably give in to any distraction, the familiarity and ease of what over time has too easily become the dominant hand. Eventually, I will myself to go back to writing (or, if I’m lucky, there’s been a flash of inspiration that leads to an open document blinking its cursor at me) and then, phase 2: I spend too much on the sketch. Whether it’s a sketch or a story, the point is to first get it on the page any way you can. I have a very real (if not unique) problem–an insistence on getting it “right” that stalls the creative process and paralyzes the self trying to get out. 

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One thought on “Picking Up the Pencil (with the Non-Dominant Hand)

  1. Pingback: Everything You Wanted To Know About Basketball

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