Scenes from corporate life


Here's this week's wry look at words in the workplace. See previous cartoons in the series.

This week I discovered Xtranormal, a text-to-video site that allows you to animate your ideas. Here's the video version of the above cartoon. What do you think? Does it work?

This series of cartoons - and the video - is my contribution to Mission (ImPossible) – a group writing project at Joanna Young’s Confident Writing blog. For the project, Joanna challenged her readers to experiment with writing for a new medium.In line with the project’s rules, here are my reflections on what I learned from this experiment.1. I got the idea for creating cartoons from fellow blogger, tweeter and cartoonist Brad Shorr. I never thought someone as artistically incompetent as I am could create cartoons until I learned that Brad collaborates with an artist to realise his ideas. The lesson? Writing’s often a solitary business, but interacting with others can inspire new ways of thinking.2. I’m lucky to have a husband and business partner who’s visually literate – it meant I could realise my cartoons without having to pay an outsider. 3. I’m more creative than I thought I was. I always thought of myself as a critic rather than a creator. The cartoons allow me to do both.4. Creativity comes in bursts for me. I bashed off more than a dozen cartoon ideas in a morning, but have done none since. I’m going to be running one cartoon a week, so hopefully I’ll have another creative spurt before I’ve featured them all. 5. I think this particular creative burst came from forcing myself to be disciplined about writing a set number of words for my blog every day, whether I was feeling inspired or not. The lesson? Write through the fallow periods and you’ll reap the rewards6. Creative bursts can come at any time, but particularly when you’re half way between wake and sleep, or when you’re doing something else entirely. The lesson? Carry a notebook wherever you are. 7. Xtranormal is ridiculously, addictively good fun. Discovering it made my week. Don’t go there unless you want to be similarly hooked.