❝ I will be wild. I will be brutal. I will encircle you and conquer you. I will be more powerful than your boats and your swords and your blood lust. I will be inevitable. ❞

- Iphigenia, from A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky.  (via sourirefugace)

How are you so patient? I guess I get frustrated too easily or something when I try to art and nothing is working. But seriously if you teach me how to be as patient as you I would be so grateful.


  1. I have five or six drawings going at any given time so I can switch around if one of them starts to feel toxic.
  2. I draw all the time. I draw so often that no individual drawing is “precious.” If I spill chocolate milk on something, who the fuck cares because I can draw it again. 
  3. I like the process of drawing more than I like the product of drawing. It’s totally okay to want to end up with a pretty picture at the end, but you still have to draw it. Drawing is actually 100% drawing and 0% not drawing. You have to want to draw to draw.
  4. I don’t think of drawings as finished. To me, it’s all one neverending drawing. If I mess up along the way, I can fix it in something else later. It’s okay to have bad drawings. You’re supposed to.
  5. I draw stuff I like. Not stuff I think other people will like.

Thank you, Miss M


Back when I was in 6th grade (around 11 years old for our international readers), we did a short-story writing project in class. I was lukewarm about this whole “fiction” thing. I was a scholar and how dare my teacher make me write tales when I could be reading the encyclopedia about Bubonic Plague again. But, since we’re all friends here- and friends don’t lie to each other- the real reason I was miserable was because I wasn’t good at it immediately. I could hear the story in my head, but it would get tangled in my elbow and only a sputter would make it to the page. It was demoralizing to say the least. I concluded this fiction stuff was going to take more than 5 minutes of my time, and since I wasn’t going to be a Nobel Laureate, it was sign I shouldn’t be doing it all.

One day my teacher, Miss M, pulled me aside and asked what the problem was. She had collected our journals and while my classmates had filled theirs with fairy princesses and Power Ranger fanfic, mine was filled with doodles of swashbuckling stick-figures or hieroglyphics. I told her my story that I would’ve written, and explained that it was my elbow’s fault because it tangled up everything. She pointed out that I had told her an amazing story (not counting the one involving my elbow) then gave me a piece of advice that has carried me since:

Talk it out. Just pretend you’re telling me the story.

It was one of those light bulb moments I saw in my cartoons. I carried my construction paper “writer’s journal” home that night. I sat at the dining room table and I pretended to tell Miss M the story as I wrote. I could tell my dog was judging me. Night after night, I talked things out until I had filled my little notebook. The dog remained judgmental.

Eighteen years later, I still talk things out. Sometimes out loud, but mostly in my head. Sometimes, when I’m really struggling, I still imagine Miss M sitting there listening to my story. The beauty of this advice is that it’s so basic, yet accomplishes two things all writers need.

  • First, it makes you imagine a reader. Whether you’re writing an essay in school or a short-story for a competition, you have an audience.
  • Second, it gets you out of your head. Imagination is an wonderful thing. However, it’s as dangerous as it is wonderful because we’re tempted to keep our ideas in the warm, echo-chamber of our minds. Talking them out, or writing them down, is the first step to developing your ideas in earnest.

So, the next time you run into a rough spot in your writing, take a moment and heed Miss M’s advice and talk it out.


TRACK: Doin' It Right In The Trap
ARTIST: Nicki Minaj vs Daft Punk
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