I feel resistance when I sit down to sketch. It’s like trudging through deep sand. It takes so much energy to put one foot in front of the other.
My inner dialogue doesn’t help. It harangues me. It says, “The subject is too hard, too complicated, has too many lines. It won’t come out ‘right.’ I don’t know where to start. Who cares?”
Also unhelpful, my desperate need to do something, anything, else at the precise moment I decide to sketch: wash the dishes, scroll through Instagram, cut my toenails.
Mostly, though, it’s daunting to face a blank page and go through the process of filling it with line and form and color.
I’ve given into this resistance for years. I've let myself be daunted. It’s why I have dozens of empty sketchbooks on my bookshelves.
As I push through and challenge myself to sketch every day, though, I’ve noticed a subtle shift in the dynamic. I feel the tiniest bit more ease when I sit down to draw. The tiniest bit less hesitation. The tiniest bit more confidence.
The huge effort I feel when I first sit down eventually transforms into flow. I start to enjoy the process. The voices really do go quiet.
Today, for having done some of the work of dancing with the fear (by getting uncomfortable and sketching even while the voices prattled on in my head), I have my first completed sketchbook. And it's not as tortured as you might expect as I've been working to silence the voices of fear.
In fact, it's a joy to leaf back through it, even the cringe-worthy bits.