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Word of the Day

Word of the Day

Maria writes...
I woke up this beautiful morning, and one of the first things I did was read my "word of the day."

 A U T O S C H E D I A S M  

What a mouthful of letters! Of course, I had to find out what the meaning was.  I tried to guess: "fear of driving vintage cars" or maybe "International Association of Sketchy Mechanics," or perhaps "extreme self-imposed scheduling." Well, I was not even close.  

It simply means something that is IMPROVISED. You Know... 


Well,  you get the message.   

Rick and I were adamant about Zentangle drawing be just that way. Fresh, exciting, exuberant, confident. There were really important decisions about Zentangle that were made because of this. We did not have you draw your tangles in pencil then ink over them.

We strongly recommended not having erasers in your tool box. No working on scrap papers first...

Go right for the heart and soul of drawing. Learn everything you can on a small (albeit awesome) piece of paper.  

Fall down, get up.  Fall down, get up. As a toddler, this is how you learned to walk.  Falling down was one step closer to walking, and soon after running. . . and then maybe, dancing, climbing, diving, jumping.

As you journey through your Zentangle practice, remember when you  "miss a step", take a deep breath and embrace the opportunity to improvise. Creativity jumps in if you let it.  

All this and more from this little "peace" of paper.

Julie Willand


  • Waar ik ook ben ik probeer steeds mijn zentangle boek meetenemen om korte schetsen te maken , ik heb zoveel te danken aan jullie. Groietjes Ward Van Honsté / Kapellen België.

    Ward Van Honsté on

  • Were you looking over my shoulder? I’ve been naughty practicing on a scrap sheets with PENCIL a lot lately!! Eeeeeek!!!! It does interfere with the beautiful right brain flow. So glad to be reminded not to do that!! Thank you!!!🙏 🤗

    Susan Talbot on

  • Sometimes I think life is improvised! You make plans and suddenly things change. I was supposed to attend CZT36 and luckily I had not made plane reservations when COVID hit. Martha moved me to CZT38 and hopefully the world will be better by then. I suddenly lost my hearing in my right ear in the summer and will need some kind of hearing aid and had a deviated septum surgery in October. So my life has not been going down the path I planned this year, which was to finally become a CZT.

    Debbie Smith on

  • Thank you Maria for sharing your word-insight with us! My son is always telling us his word of the day. It’s so cool to learn something new everyday. I agree that this word and accompanying tangle would look great on a shirt; it would be quite a conversation starter!

    Kim Gangwisch on

  • Just love the word!!

    Alicia on

  • I second the idea! (I refer to the fact that we all need a t-shirt with this word on the front—and from what I see above, you’ve already designed it.). I will sign up to buy one.

    Devin on

  • The best things in life fall into the autoschediasm category. Like following your heart, following your art. Looking at tiles done a while ago, and pondering how I came up with that idea! Also in that category is our recent purchase of my very own motorcycle ;))

    Ginger White, CZT34 on

  • Thanks for the reminder, Maria! I admit, lately I’ve been doing more of the inking over pencil thing. During Inktober, I’ve been drawing daily and I feel so much more comfortable and confident when I map out where I want the tile to go…but that’s not really what Zentangle is all about, is it. So today, I will let the journey unfold. Thanks again!

    Leslie Barr on

  • I get the spontaneity of Zentangle, but having been a computer prigrammer, strategic planner as well as a calligrapher, sketcher, painter, and basket weaver prior to finding Zentangle, the need to plan or block out a piece of work is a very hard habit to break. Having been trained to “begin with the end in mind,” I admit I regularly use pencil to block out my designs, “audition” various tangles, and get a feel for how the piece will look. However, as I put pen to paper, I often find myself ignoring the light pencil outlines because the tangles speak for themselves, and sometimes lead me in an entirely different direction. When this happens, I just go with the flow, and am usually pleasantly surprised. I liken this to the athlete’s concept of being “in the zone.” It never happens when I’m exercising, but almost always when I’m tangling! Autoschediasm?

    Jake on

  • I’ve always loved the “no mistakes” and “moving on” of Zentangle makes it so enjoyable. The concept is similar to a piece of advise given to me in an early music lesson – when you make a mistake just keep playing. If you stop and start over you’re re-enforcing it and teaching yourself to play the mistake. Often used that as an example when teaching Zentangle.

    TinkeredArt on

  • A powerful word with a true correlation to Zentangle®

    Carolyn Dumaine on

  • My husband is a jazz pianist. We say life is like jazz. You gotta swing. You gotta improvise. And there are no wrong notes!!

    Deborah Alborell on

  • Excellent blog post which describes the essence of the Zentangle method perfectly. Thank you!

    Brenda Shaver CZT, Ontario, Canada on

  • There is “peace” in the little paper. A moment of quiet. A moment of contemplation. A moment to draw.



  • Looks like the front of a shirt to me! Love it!

    Cleo Thompson on

  • I have learned to go with the flow and not judge my tangling. But it wasn’t always like that.

    Jackie on

  • I loved puzzling over the word before I read your comments, Maria. Obviously, they perfectly characterize Zentangle.

    Joeann Beresford on

  • Thanks for the reminder, Maria! I admit, lately I’ve been doing more of the inking over pencil thing. During Inktober, I’ve been drawing daily and I feel so much more comfortable and confident when I map out where I want the tile to go…but that’s not really what Zentangle is all about, is it. So today, I will let the journey unfold. Thanks again!

    Leslie Barr on

  • I LOVE this word! I’m so very glad I’m not the only geek in the crowd that loves words so much that I check my “word of the day”. It’ how I constantly learn new words and I do so love English vocabulary. I’m really beginning to take to heart the whole concept of it you “fail” or “make a mistake”, either pick yourself up and try again, or take the opportunity to see what you can make of it. I’ve made some very unexpected and truly lovely tiles this way. Love and hugs to all! Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. :)

    LovelyRita (aka Rita Miller) on

  • What a perfect word for the time and the world we live in. Needed that! Thanks for always being inspiring.

    Sue Leslie on

  • Maria, after six years I still feel a little daunted by the blank paper at times. But I know I am courageous and bold and can attack any piece of paper at any time with the tools I have. thanks for the new vocabulary word!

    Mary Illana Perrin CZT on

  • Reminds me of the 60’s, “if it feels good, do it!!”

    Betsey Youngs on

  • Love the word! Thank you!

    Florence Lednum on

  • Great WORD!! Very challenging for me! Being spontaneous, doing things impromptu!!
    Scary!! Hard to trust my inner-arty, initial ideas. Scary.. but very fun & surprising! 🙃

    Wendy Need-Beak on

  • Thanks Maria for the reminder that sometimes one just takes a gulp of air and dives right on in, with no preconceived thought about not succeeding The end product will always be perfect.

    Carolyn Satter on

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