Today is December 31st.
Yesterday was December 30th and I got hit with a major case of Doubtrify. I just made that word up, but I think any creative person gets it and and it hit me hard yesterday. I woke up, and knew that in two days 2015 would be here, and here I was. Still in my little, cold, studio apartment, working at a place I've come to REALLY not like anymore, and wondering to myself: "Man, how much longer can I do this?"
How much longer can I keep sitting at my desk, not knowing if making comics is ever going to pay-off, working in a job I hate, knowing I'm not really qualified to do anything else, and not only is it a new year in two days, but in 13 days, I'll be a year older. I'm really close to being middle aged (which is a scary thought in and of itself) and what do I have to show for it?
I tried going to the movies to take my mind off of things (the new Hobbit movie is pretty cool), but I walked out of the theater, knowing I was headed back to my little studio, not knowing where my life was headed.
I got home and I pondered. Thinking didn't help, and usually doesn't when you're in that state of mind. So I returned to my unfinished comic and started drawing.I finished the last page of a new comic. I've made two brand new, 19 page & 22 page comics this year. That's when it hit me. I'm not doing enough.
I can complain all I want about where I'm at in life and wonder why it's taking me so long and doubting if things are going to pay off, and you know what? They aren't. Not if I go at the rate I went this year. In 2014 I created 43 pages of new comic work. That's it. That's not even a page a week. That's less than a page a week. Sometimes, you need coddling, sometimes you need a good, positive piece of advice, but sometimes... well sometimes you just need a swift kick in the booty!
So what did I do? I looked at a list I made last week. A list of goals I want to complete in 2015 and re-adjusted my thinking. I'm tackling one goal at a time. I'm doubling my efforts. I can't just work when I feel like it, or when I think it's a good time. I have to work all the time. Sometimes, you can't wait for the boat to come closer to shore, you have to swim out and get on the boat yourself. When you do that, you face obstacles. You have waves, and sea creatures, and other people swimming. But the boat is there. You have to swim as hard as you can to make it. Otherwise, there are only two other options for your. If you don't make it to the boat, you either get thrown back to shore or you drown. It is what it is.
Call it a dreamer's mind set, call it naivety, call it whatever you want. But I really believe I can do this. I can make a living making comics. But belief only gets your half way. You have to put in the work, and work hard. Harder than anyone else. Most of the time harder than everyone realizes you're working. But it doesn't matter. Because if you want it, you have to work for it.