The benefits of a buffer seem to be multiplicative ... being ahead means that I don't have to crunch to get tomorrow's strip ready ... which means that I can take my time and pay attention to the little details ... which means that I enjoy doing the artwork more ... which means I'm eager to do more of it ... which means that I'm more likely to get further ahead...
So if having a buffer is all that and a bag of chips, you may wonder, why do I have such trouble maintaining it? Well, there are lots of reasons, ranging from being at conventions to having a cold to crunch time at work, to attending Kung Fu. This last one in particular has had a much bigger impact than I thought it would -- a night spent on Kung Fu is a night where NOTHING else is accomplished, and when I need to draw a minimum of 4 nights out of every seven, going to Kung Fu twice a week and gaming once a week means there is absolutely no room for anything else. Visit the parents one night, for instance, and that means that something else has got to give.
I don't think of myself as having outrageous wants in life ... I wanna do my art, I wanna get some exercise, and I wanna do a little gaming from time to time. That's pretty much it, with occasional forays into outside things to provide variety and keep me from getting into a rut. But those things turn out to have extremely high price tags, when it comes to hours invested. No wonder I feel so strung out all the time! 0.o
Oh well; I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.