I think part of the idea of scribbling for new artists is that keeping the pen moving occupies the hand that wants to move. I have a tendency to take bigger strokes, and often they’re either at the wrong angle, or sometimes even in the wrong direction. This gives me something to do, move my wrist and make little scribbles while I’m looking at the image,which in turn gives me more time to look at the image.
One instructor called those small straight strokes “chicken scratches.” Swirling the pen is far more satisfying, and feels better in my hand than moving the pen back and forth in a semi-straight line.
I figure as I get better by slowing down, the pen scribbles will get looser and thinner and look less like the chicken scratches of the Broken Leg Boys up top.