For me, it’s always darkest just before the “Aha!” moment. I am wallowing in crappy ideas, considering all other career possibilities, and procrastinating by any means possible. Sometimes this process itself leads to the “Aha!” moment, producing a cartoon like this one, which came to me suddenly while I was cleaning the vacuum closet. I was supposed to be drawing, of course, which always triggers the urge to do something so virtuous that it excuses the procrastination. Suitable tasks include cleaning, organizing, yard work, grocery shopping, or anything else that I can claim is for the good of the family. But, honestly, it’s anything that doesn’t involve touching that dreaded blank paper. Anyway, there I was, putting anything not nailed down into labelled plastic containers and sorting the shelves to a level perhaps not necessary, when I admitted to myself that it was possible to be over-organized. My cartoonist brain (which is like a shark, constantly prowling my subconscious for ideas) immediately tacked the word “crime” onto organized, and I had my “Aha!” moment. For me, this isn’t always a big relief, because there’s still that pesky blank paper and the realization “Argggh! Perspective! A lot of tiny lettering! Staircase!,” which will be necessary to get the idea to work.
—Via The New Yorker, courtesy of Bob Mankoff’s ‘The Cartoon Bureau’ with guest-blogger Michael Maslin, March 4, 2014