Friday, June 02, 2006
So, I recently ran into a period where my will to work on [nemesis] was completely sapped. I would look at my stack of thumbnails for future pages and I felt... empty and uninterested. I felt like there were a million other things I could do with my time that would yield me more satisfaction and a greater sense of accomplishment than to work for even five minutes on this project of mine. It sucked. I hated it, because I love the comic, and I dearly love cartooning.
I contacted the local members of the Green Party looking for some way to get involved in local politics. (I tried the Democrats in college, and I just don't have the stomach for that kind of political work.) I found a local group of atheists who meet up and socialize/organize.
And I felt better, but I still didn't feel like working on [nemesis].
That is until I made a few changes.
First, I completely stopped reading Webcomics criticism and Comics criticism in general. I stopped listening to Digital Strips podcast, Blank Label Comics podcast, and I stopped trying to listen to Joey Manley's podcast. The results stunning, and sudden. I didn't hate my work anymore. I stopped worrying about my audience size or the quality of my writing.
While that can be considered a problem, it's not nearly as big a problem as being so flat out bummed about what the critics are lauding. See, it didn't really bother me that critics don't talk about me. It bothered me that they talked about the same few comics, or comics that I found to be not worth following at all. It bothered me that the comics that critics considered to be worthwhile were comics that I, as a dedicated cartoonist and writer, don't care about. At all. There are other gripes, but they're not worth going into, because the griping was the problem.
This was great, I felt less irritated all the time. Awesome.
But I still wasn't motivated. At least until I made another change.
I stopped checking my comics stats altogether. I know [nemesis] has readers, and I know I'm lucky to have as many faithful, interested bodies as I have now. I don't need to know how much the stats have jumped or dropped this week, this day, in the last five minutes. And it feels good to not care.
Maybe that's the trick. Since a person can't care about everything without going crazy, maybe we have to shift our bubble of apathy into area that isn't detrimental to our well being, or that allows us to get on reasonably.
Anywho, I still wasn't motivated to get started. Then I got a letter from someone asking if I was okay because [nemesis] hadn't updated. Someone I've never met in my life wrote me to ask if I was okay because he and his son liked [nemesis] and wondered where it went. Suddenly there was no inertia anymore. There was no energy to build, because it was suddenly just there. So, now I'm about a week ahead, and things are humming nicely.
Thanks to everyone who keeps reading [nemesis], despite my flaky update schedule lately.
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