Most of you know I’ve scaled back on releases and have been less than firm on update times. Basically I’m on a “get to it when I get to it” type of schedule. I do want to make a couple of things clear – this graphic novel will be finished. It might take a little time, but the train will reach the station, safe and sound.
I figure another thirty pages or so to cap off The Betrayal. If I had stuck to the schedule, it would be done in 10 weeks (mid March). Without a solid update schedule, it could be closer to May by the time this is done. I’ll be honest with you – I don’t anticipate I’ll have time for anything personal once the kid is in hand. That remains to be seen.
What I do know is this – bear with me. I had an epiphany yesterday.
Last night I sat on the couch, exhausted. Work has been busy, I’ve had appointments all week and my wife is due any time now. I just sat there in silence, breathing. The first thing that popped into my head was ‘What was I doing 20 years ago that kept me carefree and artistically motivated?’
I remembered some comics I made about some of the teachers in High School that were a riot. Then it dawned on me – I did that for fun – I never wanted to do anything more than create this saga and pass it around for a laugh and then store it away. (I still have it, intact – pencils on lined paper) So where did I get diverted into this idea where I wanted to be a professional? Is it the common yearning most people have? To seek out a job that will fulfill their desires and cater to their skills?
It’s funny that it took over 15 years to realize that there is a balance between being proud of your accomplishments and chasing an ideal that doesn’t exist. Businessmen do this all the time – there is a perceived value to everything, but there will always be something better to chase, conquer and acquire. Sometimes, that drive overshadows the accomplishments of the past, and these people expect to top each success with one that is even bigger. It’s a motivator for some, but it is also a painful form of torture for many.
You’re never happy with what you’ve got or what you’re doing. There always has to be something… better.
Well, I’m puling my thumbs out of the screws. I’m not going to subject myself to that any longer – especially since I never wanted to be caught up in the race in the first place. El Cuervo was supposed to be an accomplishment – but I never set the parameters for that accomplishment. Was it a printed book? Was it success and acclaim amongst my peers? Was it financial gain? Or was it simply to just get it done and out there?
Well – the more I worked on it, the more the parameters became less clear. I became too involved with what I could do instead of what I wanted to do. Last night, with ass firmly planted on couch, the parameters suddenly became clear. It was like the final settling of all the sedimentary ideas that had been shaken up and swirled in my head. The water of thought was clear – even though I was preoccupied with a million other things – this was the only thing that had clarity.
You can bet I embraced that sucker as tightly as possible. It was an easy solution to a lingering problem. I’ve always looked for some form of simplicity but never took the time to figure it all out. And all it took was one flump on the couch to force it all out.
There’s a few things I want to accomplish, change, improve. So here’s a grocery list – similar to the blog post I made earlier about goals, here’s something a bit more concise.
- Complete The Betrayal
This is a given. I started it, I’ll finish it, but I’m going to enjoy doing it. That means putting it out when I have the time and energy.
- Continue providing Tutorials and Podcast advice on Webcomic Alliance
I enjoy writing articles and talking shop on the podcast, and if I don’t have time to contribute, there are others on the team willing to lend a hand. It’s a good group.
- Get back in to different artistic avenues
I talked about this before, but sculpting, painting and writing are going to be my creative releases for this year.
- Start a Comic Strip
The Majors! I didn’t put all this planning into it, just to see it shelved. Look for this in October.
- Other avenues of fulfillment
Being a dad, doing some renovations, exploring other online pursuits are all on my ‘to-do’ list.
- Lose some weight, get active
I’ve already started this – back on the wagon, lost 4 lbs, looking to drop another 10.
I want to be happy – I don’t want to feel like everything is such a chore. So its time to figure out what my real responsibilities are and what my priorities are, and leave everything else to the ‘fun’ pile. No stress, no commitments, no worries.
I feel better already.