If I Cannot Write, I Will Draw

Years ago, while rifling through old National Geographic magazines, I came across a quote I later cut out and used in a collage: “…if I get scared, I cannot write, and if I write, I am not scared.”

That still resonates with me today, but another dimension is resurfacing for the first time since childhood — if I cannot write, I will draw.

She’ll go her own way, you can’t take the song out of her bones. // “Darkling Seer” by Alyssa Pearl Fusek (2017)

My drawing ability is at best mediocre, but just as with writing, the process can be more divine than the end result. My need to draw germinates slowly. It bloomed the other night, and I spent the evening hours eschewing words for graphite pencils and poorly pressed leaves. I forgot my fear, but when I was done it came back.

Fear has saturated the past few days with unwanted bitterness. I have stories I want to spin into being, but all the words I write crawl along the page before sputtering out into half-mast maybes.

I suppose that is the one thing that’s changed: I am always scared when I’m writing now. It’s a troubling realization, a new reality I’ll have to reckon with. It’s now an indelible part of the grand package called my existence. (Another question: who packaged existence in the first place?) Yet whether it’s a single sentence or an artwork four hours in the making, creation is creation, and I think there must always be a little fear in creation. Too much fear clogs inspiration. Like with most things in life, it’s all in how you balance it.

May we all find a sufficient balance.

© Cat and Moth Writings
All Rights Reserved


2 thoughts on “If I Cannot Write, I Will Draw

  1. Jane Fusek

    First of all, I really like the drawing with the pressed leaves. The lines are well chosen, as a lot is expressed without it being overdrawn.
    Secondly, about the fear that can enter the creative process. Give it space. If it is anything like the muse that I know, it can’t be controlled like other things. Sometimes it just means that the time is not quite right. It can’t be forced. No need to be overly concerned, as creativity has an ebb and flow. And, some of these tides take a long time to cycle.
    I like that you went and did some drawing when the writing hit a major speed bump.
    The main thing is to be alive each day and see and hear what is around you. I have learned that there is great big universe out there and that it sometimes works in mysterious ways.


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