(13 Nov 2007)
As the folks behind NaNoWriMo and the 24 Hour Comics Day are oft want to repeat, when you take on a project of a greater magnitude than you are normally used to, you can learn a lot about yourself. They say that you "learn what you are capable of." But, and they mean this when they say that but they leave it out, you also face your weaknesses.
Going daily when you're used to producing a weekly comic is grueling. The only reason I take it on now is that I tested myself over the summer with The Dragon & the Radical. I know I can do it. Especially today, since I'm sitting on a whole month worth of scripts and I feel ready to write more.
But one of my weaknesses, I've come to learn, is that when I'm emotionally unsettled I find it exceedingly difficult to work. Whether it's data entry or drawing, when I get incensed or hurt about something it is ultimately distracting from what I want to do. And I seem to take a lot of things to heart.
As a teenager and through my twenties, I felt that these feelings of mine were more important than anything, and I had the financial stability to suffer the consequences of heeding them. I could blow a day on moping or fuming about. I could afford to obsess about the code of my website, if that's what I felt was important, instead of doing my homework or designing an poster for some local show.
But now I've stuck myself into a position in life where I can't afford to do that anymore. Or, at least, not as much. I do need a little wiggle room for my obsessions and depressions in order to stay healthy. But I also need to produce a minimum amount of work a day.
I think the key is to produce enough during my productive times to carry me through my other passions. But...
I am also starting to take a certain amount of pride in conquering my passions when they're negative in nature, when they're not productive themselves. Say, when I'm angry at a friend for slighting something I care about. Being able to move on, rise above, and draw something fantastic, is a pretty cool thing to be able to do.
And it's really hard to learn. I don't think it even matters how old you are. I know some people who think they've mastered the skill who demonstrably haven't.
Which is human nature, I suppose, and the crux of many of my comic's jokes, really.
Posted by Fenmere
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