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Da Future

One thing that doing a comic gives you, is structure. Drawing is extremely time-consuming (at least for me), so in order to make sure the strip goes out on something even vaguely resembling a regular schedule I have to make sure to carve room for it in my daily life.

But SJ is going on its break fairly soon ("soon" being a relative term, considering I expected it to have happened already about four months ago), which is going to open up wide swaths of time I'm not used to having. Granted, I have a ton of projects I want to work on, so it's not going to be like I have nothing to do ... but it's going to be quite different from my current existence of "being at the drawing table except when I'm not".

I find myself wondering, when the time comes, how I'm going to react to that. Am I going to freeze up in indecision, unable to pick which long-shelved project to start first? Am I going to have a burst of creativity as I dash off item after item? Or am I going to get sucked into some time-sink and find myself unpleasantly surprised when a year has gone by and I haven't actually done anything?

Honestly, I don't know. I really can't imagine sitting on my duff forever, it's just not in my nature. But there is always a nagging worry in the back of my head that I might, if only because I know so many people who have. Somewhere in there I think is also a burning desire to send a symbolic F-U to all those people who beat me up as a child with the phrase "Not living up to your potential." I'm not living up to my potential, you say? Well guess what, teach, you're not living up to my potential either.

Thing is, the post-SJ projects I want to work on are so varied that I don't have a clear idea of what working on them is going to be like, and I guess that has me feeling apprehensive about the disruption of what routine I've got. How do I start? How do I stop? How will I know I'm making progress? Should I start obsessively making lists? Should I play it all by ear?

Something I would like to do is to buff up my body of work. I found myself idly reviewing my bibliography today, and feeling like it seemed woefully thin for all the blood, sweat, and tears I've poured into it. That, combined with the Rex Stout anthology I'm currently reading, made me ponder the idea of making a goal to write a short story every month, hopefully for publication in some form or other. But then I thought, "If I do that, will I find myself just as shackled and unable to work on other projects as I did when I was working on the comic?" I also thought of trying to send, say, five single-panel cartoons to The New Yorker or whomever a month ... with the same thought.

So ... I don't know. I'm open to suggestions. It's not something I have to confront immediately by any stretch of the imagination, but it is something I'm going to be thinking about in the upcoming weeks/months/whatever.

But now, off to rescue our kitty from the vet!

-The Gneech

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
sirfox
Nov. 29th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
how about you try to do something a few times during a month, and the next month, try something else. after a few months, figure out what felt best, was most enjoyable. the only one who can get you shackled down to a particular project to spend your free time on is you, after all.

hantamouse
Nov. 30th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
There is always the horrible possibility of discovering you're happier not trying to accomplish stuff at all.

Edited at 2007-11-30 12:11 am (UTC)
the_gneech
Nov. 30th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
I've tried that, actually, and didn't like it much.

-TG
trpeal
Nov. 30th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
I stopped drawing at the end of July, and I'm still in the place hantamouse warns about. On the other hand, I quit not because I was done drawing FCE, but because I wasn't enjoying it any more. So, there are ways that my situation differs from yours.

But if you are concerned about being trading one perceived time-sink for another, then maybe it is appropriate to just chill for a bit. Play more LOTRO. Read more. Watch a little more TV. Play with the cat. Dabble in a few of your new projects, toying with ideas and setting up frameworks, as it were, but not beginning them in earnest.

I'm starting to miss the regular schedule of working on something, after four months off, so I'm slowly getting back into writing. I almost miss working on the strip, but I'm definitely not prepared to take up comicking again. Deadlines are not my friend, right now.

In any event, relax for a bit. Once you put SJ on break, you might be able to sit back, take the long view, and figure out what you best want to pursue. Good luck!
torakiyoshi
Nov. 30th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
Mmm... a buffed-up Gneech sounds very good indeed.

...

...

What?

...

OH! Buff up his work! Silly me!

Have the best

-=Kiyoshi
torakiyoshi
Nov. 30th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
And now for a more serious comment... I've personally been quietly enjoying the not-end of SJ's serial run. You know full well what SJ and your work in general mean to me, and so I've been greatful to see that you couldn't end it as early as you wanted. But then, in the Furry community, I'm more of a "take, take, take" kind of guy, and I don't feel that I'm doing much in the region of "give," due to my lack of time to develop any useful-to-furries talent.

As for what you shall do: dabble a little bit, brainstorming over all of your projects and see which one absorbs you. That's the one you should do first.

Have the best

-=Kiyoshi
mammallamadevil
Nov. 30th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
I want to take a raincheck on answering this...
for January 24th, 2008.

I have the restaurant picked out already.....(grin)

MLD
exatron
Nov. 30th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
Finishing one of something each month or two sounds like a goal. It doesn't even have to be the same something every time. Write a short story one month, draw a comic the next month, do something else after that, etc.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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