I doodled that drawing up there on the left during a group video call (don't tell anyone). Now, I'm not good at drawing, but I liked how very serious and earnest this chap looked. I thought that he should say something. And that it should probably be mean.
So just for fun, I wrote a couple of mean sentences on a separate Post it note. I imagined him leading some team of people somewhere, unhappy at where he is in life, not a bad person but quite content to take his frustration out on others.
And then I did some actual work for a bit.
The following day I did another doodle (right in the image above). When I looked at my sentences from the day before I started to think about how much meanness there is in your average workplace. And I wondered what it might be like for these characters in my doodles – these middle managers – to say nice things instead.
So I quickly wrote a few kind sentences. Almost without thinking. And next to my weird little pictures I think they work better. There's an awkwardness, a sadness even, in their praise. And who is the praise for? Us, the reader?
I doodled a few more, shared the images in my Instagram stories and received some lovely feedback. These would make a great stocking filler! I'm so glad you posted these! Please make more of them!
I may make more or I may never doodle a single middle manager again, but it's been a good reminder that ideas can come from anywhere. That putting pen to paper is better than not. And that one idea can spark a thousand others over time.
Join 1600+ super subscribers
I send two regular newsletters. Draft Mode (biweekly) is about the writing process, creativity and ace writing resources. Minifictions (monthly) features five original pieces of flash fiction.
Sign up once. Choose your newsletters.Subscribe now