SOLC Day 18: Drafty Days


March 2020 SOLC–Day 18
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Every day feels like a draft right now. Unformed, unfinished, needing revision. It’s similar to a free write where you dive in, try to make sense of things, and have no idea where you might be headed.

Sort of like this, though maybe not as creepy. Maybe.

I’m trying to go with “draft-y” as my self-talk descriptor of choice, rather than “overwhelming” or “frightening” and other similar words. As I said to someone the other day, “I’ve decided I don’t really enjoy this living history thing.” I’m someone who takes comfort in the status quo and works to challenge myself from a base of normalcy. That’s tough these days. (Well, the challenging part isn’t so much, but the base of normalcy is!) It occurred to me this morning, that as a writer, maybe I can do “draft-y,” recognizing that I can actually shape some of that drafting process–like choosing an entry point and focus points along the way.

Today I opted to begin the day by trying two new creative ventures. The first of these is the monthly five day writing challenge from Ethical ELA. Today was the fifth day, and was entitled, “Haiku, Photography and Japanese Word Characters.” Here was the challenge from Jennifer Goyer-Jowett:
Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 7.32.42 AM.pngIntriguing! I immediately began looking up Japanese word characters. After a while, I came across the character for “warrior.” It reminded me a bit of a somewhat blurry action picture I recently took of two eagles. It’s not perfect (I think some of the angles are reversed), but if you squint, it sort of works.

Image result for japanese word images hope



tumbling eagles
one victor emerges
primal food fight



DSC_0710 (2)

Next I stumbled on a link to a Mo Willems video. Apparently, he’s offering daily lunchtime doodling/drawing sessions. As a huge Piggy and Gerald fan, I decided to watch the first one. The visual is clean and uncluttered, and his voice is slow-paced and calm. He’s also quietly silly, which is quite welcome right now. Immediately, I felt myself unwinding. I think that 20 minutes a day with Mo might be my new form of meditation.(Ok…I confess–I don’t actually have a current form of meditation. But you know what I mean.)

Mo suggested beginning by doodling together. I love how he described doodling as “sort of having fun and exploring, with a pen or a pencil, a different way to make a line.” He opted for a general theme of “creatures with a lot of legs.” I grabbed my markers and a piece of paper, and drew alongside him. You can compare our drawings and instantly see why he makes the big bucks. (I really wanted to redraw the head on mine (it makes me cringe!), but I am trying to stick to the draft-y playful spirit of things.)


Both of these ventures helped me shift my focus from the unsettling world around me to a more positive, productive place. Neither of them is polished and perfect, but I’m feeling okay with their “draft-y” vibe.

What sort of draft-y things are you creating today?

18 thoughts on “SOLC Day 18: Drafty Days

  1. Lisa Maucione says:

    Draft-y is a great word to describe the days we are living through. A drawing lesson from Mo Willems sounds like a wonderful form of meditation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ejohnson says:

    I like your perspective on things. I know I’ve found myself quoting Tim Gunn a lot as I try to make lessons and online learning come together: “Make it work!” But I like your idea of this being a rough draft. It definitely feels me with the same levels of anxiety (who am I kidding, I’d rather be writing a rough draft).

    Still, thanks for sharing this, it was needed this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LaReina says:

    Brilliant! We are in a draft-y time. I love that you are coping with creativity. It is an excellent tool for all of us. I think your haiku and accompanying photo are interesting, and I found this post inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    I think and actually hope that creativity will increase during this time. I think people creating – songs and poems and artwork and even novels – could be a silver lining in all of this. I hope many of us will be the beneficiary of their products.

    You picked a perfect Japanese character for your picture. I see it!
    Primal food fight is the perfect ending.

    I am trying something creative today. I have taken ten words from your post and want to play with them and maybe write a poem! Well see how it turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    I am adopting your new term. Draft-y. Love it. I drafted a haiku for Ethical ELA and installed a car seat into my car, quite the feeling of Wonder Woman with that one. Now I think I’ll draw with Mo. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terje says:

    Draft-y – great term for the days we have. I liked the spirit you show in this post. I shared Mo Willems lunch doodling with my students. His books and drawings always make people smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Draft-y? Negotiating which friends to see during this time. We have two now – George for ping pong, we are 9+ feet away when we play and six feet for a beer at our place. Karen – walk – six feet away and than sit for wine six feet away. That’s it. Just two. It’s a work in progress. It feels draft-y. And by they are grandsons love Gerald and Piggy as do we reading to a seven and five year old.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amanda Potts says:

    Draft-y. YES. This is what I need. I also really like that word picture – picture – haiku prompt. That’s kind of awesome. I might have to do that even if I missed the actual day – and I can totally see the lines (with barely any squinting). Thank you for talking about how you are feeling unsettled; I, too, would prefer to live in a less historical moment. But here we are – might was well draw, write & play.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kd0602 says:

    Was just telling my son (the one with twin 4 year old boys) about the Mo Willems drawing lessons. Working from home gets complicated when sheltering in place. Drafty seems like a good way to go! Love your sense of adventure today!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s