I’m not sure when doodling became drawing. Maybe the change happened when I topped off a squiggle with an oval and saw a head; or when I put an eye or two here and there in the middle of some shapes. A beak. A primitive foot or hand. A walking stick. There was no pressure to make doodles look a certain way, but my mind was engaged. I was thinking about what I saw, making associations, taking leaps. Once I started doing that, I jotted down the first thoughts that came to me. This entry of words clinched it. I was drawing. I was making something that meant something. That something could be serious or wild and outlandish, but it became more than mentally-engaged doodling. It was drawing.
About the same time, I was reading fantasy novels for a graduate project. I learned about “suspending disbelief.” This is when you let go of the idea that things have to make sense or reflect reality as we know it. You open yourself up to other possibilities. We do this all the time when we watch or read fantasy and sci fi. We accept things could look very different than here-right-now, yet still hang together well. A critter might not look like a real horse, but it works as a horse-like creature and conjurs up a certain something compelling and right for that imagined world. That sounded good to me as I began to look at my squiggles as drawing, something beyond doodling. It fit in with my desire to draw with abandon and create something new. I would find my own way to finding coherence. As wacky as it might be, I was drawing something meaningful to me.