Here the month slips away and I have hardly written enough to feel that I can call myself a writer. I seem to have become more engaged in painting and drawing with my tablet PC than with reading or writing. Maybe that is a healthy switch for me, to free myself from the world of words for awhile, and poke at other interior parts to bring them back to life as well. I notice that if I try to do very much of either one, I find the other difficult to do. I can get locked into the concentration of painting or of writing, but when I mix the two the results often don’t come out so smoothly. Photography helps me with some of those issues. The adventure of going out into the world and forsaking my tiny, cluttered writing desk in the back bedroom, allows me to think abstractly. Painting and drawing, as opposed to photography, require that I engage the portions of my mind that I seem to require to set aside for writing.

I notice quite a few people with the time on their hands and the interest to do so will write and paint, while some who write do not paint, and some who paint seldom write more than a weekly shopping list for new art supplies. I’ve managed to replace real paint on real canvas with digital painting on graphics tablets and computer screens, such that the interaction between me and my materials feels much different. Less hands on, but less messy and expensive, freeing me to play more with design and diligent doodle, than I might afford to do with real paint. I miss having a live palette in front of me, and may one day come back to that, when I convert my tool shed into a paint studio.

Words do not digitize so easily. Whether writing long hand or keyboarding, the process going on in my mind feels the same. Getting words out of me and into some readable format has not been helped by technology as has digital painting. I’ve dabbled with voice recognition this past year, before I had my writing studio torn down and an apartment cottage built in its place. I needed the extreme quiet and assurance that nobody was listening to me before I could use the dictation software, since I was talking out loud to myself, and had to also concentrate on speaking out commands for grammar, punctuation, and normal keyboard operations. I have not gotten back that writing studio space, and so continue to have dreams of the shed becoming both a writing and a painting studio.

I can see the problem already, that if this tiny room of 8×10 should become my specialized place for both writing and painting, I may have difficulty doing both activities in the same place. Standing over a wet canvas while talking to myself in a microphone sounds nearly schizophrenic. Maybe subconsciously this is why I have not moved very far forward in creating my new ultimate work space, my place where I can arrange my tools and become more productive with my interests. I might then discover new things about myself that cause me more conflict than productivity.

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