It's been so long since I was noticeably ahead on my strips, that I had forgotten the Audience Response Time Warp. katayamma
and I spent this morning wrangling out the color for next Wednesday's strip, and I'm very pleased with it ... only to then realize that it'll be over a week before anybody sees it! D'Oh!
Back in The Old Days (e.g., 1999), I used the Audience Response Time Warp as a scripting tool ... I'd pay attention to what the readers were chatting about and/or sending me e-mail about, and craft my scripts with those responses in mind. But because the strips didn't come out until a month later, people had sorta forgotten about whatever the item was, and would be pleasantly surprised by the "response."
That tactic doesn't work very well when you're only working a day or two ahead, not only because it's painfully obvious to readers what you're doing, but also because there isn't any distance between the action and the re-action. When a moment in the strip has time to "simmer," it becomes a lot more powerful and meaningful later.
I'm enjoying getting ahead. :) My buffer will take a bit of a hit this weekend, but assuming I get some good drawing done tonight I should still be roughly a week ahead, if not more, by this time next week. :) FC has really been a boost to my creative output!