When I was younger, I was quite nocturnal. You would find me staying up until the wee hours of the morning working on various projects. I felt like I got a lot more done back then, but looking back, I was also a bit tired much of the time. These days, you’re far more likely to find me in bed by 9pm. In fact, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve even been awake for the arrival of midnight. I’ll stay up and read for awhile, but before the clock strikes twelve, I’ll have already nodded off. I have so many crazy dreams of things I’d like to accomplish that I sometimes wish I never had to sleep at all. It would be amazing to have a full 24 hours each day to get things done! But, then again, I imagine that one could easily get burned out if they never had a moment to pause and dream. And there’s something lovely about waking up to a brand new day with new possibilities. It’s like turned the page in a sketchbook and seeing a new one waiting there. I’m never quite sure what will make an appearance, but it’s fun to find out.
Today, while I was talking on the phone with my mother, I could hear Philippe bustling about the house doing various things. When I got off the phone, he had multiple loads of laundry cued, had cleaned all of the windowsills, and was beginning to attack the stack of papers and letters that had collected on the edge of the kitchen counter. I was quite impressed with his energetic enthusiasm. When I asked him what caused this sudden burst of domesticity, he shrugged and said, “I opened a window to let some fresh air in and then I got inspired.” I know he was simply talking about the unseasonably nice weather we’re having here today, but I rather liked that turn of phrase. The idea that something so simple was the key to inspiration was, well, a rather inspiring thought. Many times, I find myself feeling like I’m in a bit of a rut, and instead of turning to something new, I just keep trudging forward. I’ll try to tackle each problem with the same approach when, indeed, all I really needed was some fresh air.
So, I’ve decided to take his unintentional tip to heart and look for chances to open more windows. Those times in my life where I can shake up my routine a bit and try something totally different. Sure, I often try entirely new things when it comes to big projects like starting a podcast or publishing a book. But, then I’ll take the same path while driving to work or walk down the same alleyways each day. It’s efficient, to be sure, but I wonder what I might be missing by not opting for a slightly different direction. Nothing major, I’m sure, at least on the surface, but maybe something that would light a small fire of inspiration inside me. Just a glow that’s bright enough to lead me to a new place or spark a fresh idea. I adore those moments when an idea is so vividly new and amazing that I can’t wait to jump into the act of creating it. Those are the best moments of all. And sure, I’ll have to figure out how to make it all happen before 9pm, but that’s okay. I can still get quite a lot accomplished these days, even if I’m longer burning the midnight oil.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!