Some Things: Nothing to Show

Welcome to Saturday Morning Cartoons, a segment where four artists take turns delighting you with their whimsy, facts and punchlines on Saturday mornings! Today’s cartoon is by Cameron!

Cameron is an illustrator hailing from Ohio. When she’s not drawing, she’s probably very, very quietly having loud thoughts about: queer things, her eventual shop, what to watch next on Netflix, food, names for her future pets, and tumblr.

Cameron has written 67 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. As I’m in the midst of working on a final paper, this is so real. I imagine to write, I have to have it as clearly figured out as when I finish, and I almost never realize that the clarity at the end comes from hanging out with the confusion, messiness, disconnection and working it out. :/

  2. So true. The other thing that happens to me is I get stuck in the middle phase and stalled, sometimes indefinitely, until I can get over being panicked. Then it’s, go on move forward mostly. Though sometimes it’s “unpick this now and don’t do it again”.

  3. So much of writing is me training myself to just keep generating content, knowing full well I will need to retrace my steps later, and discard or reshuffle most of what I find. For a while I held onto the maxim of Art and Fear: Doing the work teaches you how to do the work. Then I hit on another one I like better: You can’t ruin stories by telling them. Stories (or essays or what have you) are like radio transmissions coming in from parts unknown, and the point is to just keep listening through the static, and transcribe as much as you can of whatever gets through. When you mishear something, when you get it garbled, when you include extraneous background noise, the transmission keeps looping until you’ve learned how to listen to it, until you’ve gotten down what it has to say. You can’t ruin stories by telling them.

    None of that changes the fact that it rankles when there’s nothing to show, though. That familiar turbine engine of anxiety, shame and envy is always whirring: “You have to get things right on the first try, because otherwise you’ve wasted your time, because other people will outperform you, because you will be left behind, because you’ll have squandered your chance.”

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.