Embracing the Mess: The Revision Process

In December, I had a great idea for the blog topic.  A comic! I thought. It’ll be a fun break from my typical blog entries! I immediately started drafting up ideas for that month’s topic on the best “gifts” received as a writer. I decided to write about some fellow consultants and their writing gifts that I admired.

A rough sketch of ideas for one of the comics.

A rough sketch of ideas for one of the comics.

By the end of December, it was clear I would not finish on time. I had initially decided to draw two comics to be posted together, but December came and left and I had only succeeded in sketching them out.  January, I thought. I’ll be able to finish them both by the end of January.  That’s not too bad.  Plus, it’s two comics… that’s sort of like two blog entries, right?

A second draft with more detailed sketches & text.

A second draft with more detailed sketches & text.

I scanned the comics and decided to use my very responsible student loan investment of a tablet to ink them in.  This proved to be more problematic than I initially realized. I had to deal with computer glitches and learning to navigate through software that I am completely unfamiliar with.

The "inking" process

The “inking” process

Needless to say, January came and left and (while I did take a short break to draw a picture for the CWE newsletter), I am still not close to finished with the two comics.

However, I think this experience fits perfectly with this month’s blog topic on revision.  This process, albeit quite different from using a word processor, still illustrates the many difficulties that the stages of revision can encounter.  The finished product is a far cry from the initial great idea, and throughout the process of making a masterpiece, things will likely get messy– they will malfunction– and in the end, it still may not look exactly like how the project was first envisioned.  As a novice comic drawer, it is difficult for me to deal with the frustrations that come along with learning a medium, but understanding that nothing looks perfect at first is important to keep in mind.  So many people marvel at works of art of all mediums, but with all great work comes a long process of revision for even the most talented artists.   Allowing, accepting, and even embracing the bumps along the road are what help me learn as a writer and artist.

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