For the first time this month, I’ve done something I have never done. I finished Inktober, but it was Inktober with a twist. In October, I participated in Inktober (Writer Edition). Fifty words of fiction daily.
I did it with a twist yet again, and added ink drawings as well.
Here’s what I learned:
Writing and Drawing are Separate Arts
I’ve been a writer for years, but art has never been my forte. I could look at the prompts each day and come up with an idea pretty quickly of what I wanted to write. Coming up with what I wanted to draw was completely different. Knowing I wasn’t the best at drawing, I knew I had to be careful in what I picked. The first few drawings were terrifying, but then I let go and started to have fun with them.
Stick Figures Can Save You
I am not a professional artist by a long shot. I have friends who can draw the most beautiful realistic images and it makes me so jealous. There were few pieces that I chose to draw that involved people, but when it did, I used stick figures. Why? Because I could, and most drawings from this month took ten minutes or less. I’m a busy person and would rather get the drawings done rather than perfect.
Focuses Can Change
The first few days, I was concerned about the drawings. I knew I had the words right in the prompts. I knew what I was going for, but drawing was a terrifying feat that I couldn’t even begin to fathom for the first week or so. About a week in, my focus changed to the words. The prompts, in my opinion, became more concept and less concrete so I had to think them through. Now that I made it to the end, I’m wondering when the prompt list will come out for next year.
In the past when I have attempted Inktober, I bought a new fresh sketchbook and told myself I would create these massive pieces of art with barely any time to spend that was needed on massively beautiful pieces of art. I would manage for a few weeks, or a couple of days, then just give up and tell myself “I’m definitely not an artist.”
This year, I went really simple. Two pieces of printer paper folded into 16 squares. 4 Pigma Micron pens in black, red, light blue and navy. One Paper-Mate 4 in 1 ballpoint pen in green only. With those simple supplies, I created masterpieces that were 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches.
Fifty Words Can Tell a Decent Story
I have to admit, I started Inktober (Writer Edition) a little before October. I wrote several pieces ahead of the days they were to be posted (but I did only do one ink drawing a day). When I first started, I was terrified. Fifty words only?! How can I tell a decent story with only fifty words?! Having done NaNoWriMo for the past ten years, I’ve been under the impression that more words is much better than less.
Inktober (Writer Edition) proved me wrong. And in a big way.
With only fifty words per prompt, it made me be creative. It made me get rid of filler words and repetitions and words that just didn’t fit. It made me a better writer in merely 31 days, simply because it became automatic after a while to go “This is much longer than fifty words”. I had to cut words and edit mercilessly to make it just 50 words. No more, no less.
This challenge was definitely fun, and I learned a lot. I can’t wait to participate again next year!
You can follow the saga of Inktober (Writer Edition) here
But now, we’re off to bigger things. November and NaNoWrimo.
Part One of Inktober
Part Two of Inktober (with a bonus drawing)