I have a new habit. I have been carrying a sketchbook, everyday for ...longer than I can remember.
When I was at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design we were told, first day of freshman year, "You must carry a sketchbook everyday." I had already been doing this for years. I was surprised how many of my 147 classmates were NOT regular sketchbook packers. I did not count, but it was a lot of them. Confusing. A mystery. I asked a couple of our teachers—all of them artists, designers, and the chairman of the department of architecture from the University of Minnesota (across town)—"How does some one come to an art school and not carry a sketchbook.?" They just shook their heads. One of them actually laughed, as if to say, How did they get past the guard shack without a sketchbook? [Photo: The first page in all my sketchbook says, "Anything worth remembering is worth writing down" This is the current book.]
Not only was the always-with-you-sketchbook required, but when a book was full we turned it in for faculty to see our journey, page-by-page. (We were not permitted to ever tear out a page.) They wanted to see every doodle, note, drawing, and thought.
Recently I realized that, although I had my sketchbook with me everyday, everywhere, it was often in my bag ... on the chair next to me. I would always pull out my MacBook, unzip the big leather "BookBook" cover, open my computer, and get to work. I couldn't get busy on my new book if the computer wasn't open. DUH>
If I needed to make a note, I knew my sketchbook was close by, less than arm's length away. Then it hit me, What if ... like my MacBook, I took my sketchbook out, opened it up, and grabbed a fistful of the few dozen felt pens in my bag, and laid them on my open sketchbook ... just in case.
I draw, doodle, and sketch much more these days since I developed the "always-open-sletchbook" habit. I've been doing this for a while now, but I did not always do it.
I don't always wait for the urge to hit, the muse to fly over head, or inspiration to spark. I will frequently just grab a felt pen, fountain pen, or pencil (yup, I love plain old soft lead pencils) and just start something. It's a great break from the writing-typing-storytelling hours of book HATCHing.
Open it, all the time, and just put something (anything) on the page.
Repeat ... daily, or more f-f-f-frequently than that.
What, you don't have a sketchbook? GET ONE. And start with a simple, inexpensive one that you will never hesitate to use. It is not a test. There will be no grades. the only way to fail is to NOT carry, open, and use your sketchbook.
Do NOT tell me you can't draw. Chapter 14 of HATCH! has my Field Guide To Doodling. (It's even in the just-released ebook, "eHATCH!") Available here: https://CMcNairWilson.selz.com
• If you you are new to the world of carrying a sketchbook (bound blank, UNLINED pages) start inexpensive: a spiral bound sketchbook (see photo). Available everywhere: drug store, Walmart, Target, etc. DO NOT start with a nice book as you'll treat it like something special, precious, and NOT use it. You need to use it a LOT, daily. So start simple.
I suggest 5"x8' to 8"x10' page size. Smaller and you won't be free to doodle big. If it's TOO BIG, you won't take it with you. I'm an 8x10 person.
Let me know how it goes and maybe send me a shot of a few early pages.