I want to write about what it feels like to live, instead of being a relief from what it feels like to live.
–David Foster Wallace
My name is Ruben Carbajal, and I am a compulsive doodler. Starting from a young age, I would scribble over every available piece of paper. Checks, bills, cardboard boxes, nothing was safe. My habit is now under control, though I am still a menace during meetings of any kind. About ten years ago, I started clipping my better marginalia. This week, I got my hands on a scanner.
Here’s a sketch, a favorite, I made of the two main characters of The Gifted Program, waiting for a bus in the snow.
Get a folder to live on your desk, and put all those fragments away for safe keeping. Once a year, pull it out. You might be surprised. I’ve rediscovered little nuggets that worked excellently in entirely different contexts. Sometimes the space and time put between you and that unfinished business will allow for a fresh perspective, and you can pick up from where you left off. (I’ve returned to scenes started over ten years ago) But don’t take my word for it. Harold Pinter’s masterpiece Moonlight would never have happened if he didn’t reduce, reuse, and recyle.