About 6 months ago, I received an email from a friend telling me about a project in which writers were being asked to collaborate with a comic artist, Tohm Curtis, to help with a deliberate practice mission.

I’ve posted about deliberate practice before, and it’s something I really believe works. A great quote I picked up last week from Ron Pretty’s book “Creating Poetry”, was that “writers are made, not born”. You need to dedicate yourself to it, to set perimeters for productivity, and even when things aren’t so productive, you need to stick at it. Because we’re not just graced by genius, and anyone who says we are, is lying.

For Tohm’s project, those perimeters were that the writer had to write a script for Tohm to draw off, and that script could only contain twelve cells. Twelve moments to tell a story.

It was quite a challenge: I was writing for a medium I’d never had anything to do with, attempting at using black humour which seems to work in comics, and is something I’ve never attempted before, and translate things I would usually get verbose about into a visual space. For Tohm, this helped to get him drawing, and for me it stretched my comfort zone. I’ve had a heap of fun working on this, navigating new territory, and the other contributors’ comics that have appeared on the Twelve Moments blog have been fantastic.

The comic, “Arachnophobia“, is now up. Navigation is a little confusing, but there’s a “Page X of 4” link under each drawing.

Tohm’s done an amazing job here, I look forward to his future posts. He’s also been kind enough to talk to me about deliberate practice and what that involves for him, how the project’s panning out etc – check back for that interview on Wednesday!