I had written recently about how time was a concern, because there are so many things that I want to write and draw and learn and do, and it seems impossible. Stumptown gave me two really good perspective checks on that.
The first one was that this is normal. I got to have conversations with both Mike Russell and Adrian Wallace. They were both cartoonists from my time at University of Oregon, and they are both still doing lots of cool things, including some collaborations. One thing that came out in each conversation is that there are projects where they don’t know when they will be done, or when they will be restarted.
Part of that is because comics are highly collaborative. There are times when you will need to wait on someone. They may be busy, just like you are busy, because everyone is working on multiple things.
That was reinforced over and over. Matt Bors has a book out, and is working on fulfillment, which has some Kickstarter obligations, but his regular editorial cartoons are still due. Becky Cloonan self-publishes, but also does work for DC and Dark Horse. That list could go on and on. Some of it is that often this work doesn’t pay well, so they either have day jobs, or just work a lot of jobs. Some of it is probably also where I find myself, in that it seems that the more ideas I work on, the more ideas I get. (Plus, I have a day job too.)
I found it refreshing. First of all, okay, I’m normal. Periodically getting a perspective check is helpful.
In addition, I think a lot of my affection for musicians and writers and artists is because they are constantly partaking in the joy of creation. They have a spark to them. I think they are happier. I know all the stereotypes of the tortured artist – if you don’t have deep pain as your creative force, you are bound to find some as you try and make your vision a reality – but there is such satisfaction in doing it!
I had been thinking anyway about how so many creative types create in multiple ways. I write screenplays and blogs (and now comics, which will involve drawing), but I also write songs. That’s pretty normal. Usually there is something you do more, or you’re better at, but you don’t get only one type of idea.
I was thinking about that, and then one of my Twitter contacts, Ksenia Anske (@kseniaanske), posted this:
“It's hard to walk when your legs are wobbly, but you learned. It's hard to write when your words are wobbly, but you'll learn. KEEP AT IT”
The vast majority of us learn to walk, because it’s expected. It’s just something that we do. What if we felt this way about creativity? What if everyone learned some way to express themselves, and followed through on it, and then found themselves leaning towards other art forms too? I know not everyone can make a living at it, but I think a lot of them could find the energy, and the joy, and the healing.
But Gina, if lots of other people started writing screenplays, wouldn’t that decrease your odds of selling one? I don’t know, my odds are already low. I do not doubt that more people writing and singing and designing would make for a happier and more beautiful world. I will always take that.
So, that was one epiphany, though it’s kind of a long and messy one. The other is that it occurred to me, as I was thinking about how tired I was, and how much there is that I want to do, the worst thing that could happen to me would be chronic-fatigue syndrome.
Yes, I am aware that there could be worse things than that, and without even trying I already have a partial list. The point was, I can’t let myself keep being this tired. I don’t have any horrible illnesses or injuries holding me back now; if I’m feeling horrible, it’s because I’m not taking care of myself.
I know, I find myself here over and over again, needing to be better about sleep, and nutrition, and exercise, which are all such time-consuming things and time is already so precious. They’re important though. I don’t write much when I’m this tired. I dream better when I get adequate sleep, which is an important part of my creativity. Also, I like myself better, which is valuable in many ways. So, I start over again, remembering that success is getting up every time you fall.http://sporkful.blogspot.com/2012/04/creation.html