19th August 2019: Writing and Drawing

I’ve been trying to write my RF2 first draft. I find writing quite difficult, when I think about something directly in language, I seem to lose the thread of what I’m trying to say. So, a strategy I try to adopt is alternating between writing and another manual activity – I find that if I’m working with my hands, I’m able to follow lines of thought, I’m not sure why… it’s almost as if when I look at something directly it blurs but if I look at it sideways, I can see it clearly. Anyway, something that occurred to me today is that I write much like the way I draw.

My drawing method is a slow process of cutting up, assembling, redrawing, adjusting and tracing. I tend to start with small fragments of sketches and photocopies which I roughly arrange, temporarily stick down and then trace off. Then I make slight adjustments to the tracing, redrawing sections by hand or adjusting underlying fragments. I iterate through this process – adding to the drawing, cutting it up, rearranging and tracing off again. Sometimes the drawing is transferred onto layout paper or carbon transferred onto cartridge paper, before I ink in the lines. I mix the media and weight of the lines depending on how I want the drawing to feel – loose and expressive (leaving in the underdrawings and marks), or detailed and precise – it’s also probably worth noting that I work with different hands when I draw depending on the type and scale of drawing I am trying to make. Sometimes I do the entire process on a single sheet of paper, leaving the pasted sections and underdrawings visible, sometimes I layer up different types of paper, so each process is visible.

My writing method is a slow process of cutting up and reassembling texts, ideas and notes. I begin with ideas, quotes and fragments of sentences written on index cards or post-it notes. I arrange these into logical or narrative flows or cluster them together in themes and the type them up verbatim into plaintext docs. Sometimes the notes suddenly flow into a sentence or paragraph, and I add these into the doc. I keep adding more notes/quotes/ideas as they occur, fitting them into the flow or clusters and then adding them into the document. Then I print out the document, cut it up and rearrange it. Repeating the whole process until I have something legible.

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