January 2018. New Year, new beginnings. It’s the season of resolutions, promises we generally make to ourselves with only our own conscious to govern whether we hold them or they fall by the wayside. Which isn’t a bad thing, as we should be the ones to hold our own feet to the fire if we truly are serious about completing a resolution. Ultimately a very large majority of resolutions are reliant on willpower and on our own interest in the resolution itself. After all, it’s really hard to train to run a half marathon if we discover that we hate running, right?
I thought about how I wanted to begin this year and what I might want to accomplish, made a list, crossed things off and found myself drawn to one simple objective for this coming year: to be more creative and by extension, to be better about sharing what I create. Nice and broad by design because as I found myself trying to compartmentalize and quantify how I would be more creative (complete one finished drawing each month, write for at least half an hour every day, etc.), it quickly became apparent that in tying myself down like that, I was going to end up stifling the creativity I’m trying to encourage. So I’m going to just let things flow to start, and see where it takes me. If I find I’m having difficulty focusing because I’ve got too many options, then I can come up with a more definitive schedule.
It’s not much of a resolution if I don’t take a moment to reflect on why I feel as though it’s necessary. My hobbies have always been creatively centered, so it’s not necessarily a matter of needing to branch out and try new things (although hey, if I suddenly want to take up knitting or quilting or whatnot, then that’s perfectly fine), it’s more a matter of 1) producing and taking risks with writing, art, photos, etc. and 2) motivation. Taking risks has been an issue for me when it comes to creative pursuits (except maybe with writing) and I am my own most self-defeating cheerleader. Case in point, I’ve always wanted to do a few short little comics, but end up discarding the idea because I convince myself that my artwork isn’t good enough or I’m not talented enough to attempt even a short comic or I don’t have any ideas that would make good comics. Tough to even begin a project when you’re leading the charge against yourself, and I’m not saying one New Year’s resolution is going to overcome my own brain being stupid about things, but I want to be more aware that I’m doing it so I can try to neutralize the risk-killing thoughts before they nix a project. I have my work cut out for me. Motivation is a tough one, too, because I know that’s directly tied to depression. This isn’t a matter of me simply deciding not to be lazy, this is my brain telling me that doing whatever creative thing I want to do is as hard to start as it would be to walk on water. It feels exhausting to even think of trying it when it’s much more appealing to stay in bed or turn on Netflix and binge watch. Frustratingly, this lack of motivation extends past things I may not want to do (work, grocery shopping, etc.) and right into the things I love to do. Brain chemicals being what they are, I foresee motivation as the bigger hurdle than productivity and risk, but I’m aware that nothing will ever get done if I don’t start addressing it head on. If I don’t, then it wins, and I won’t get to enjoy doing what I love, simple as that. I’d rather not let the brain chemicals win, so to that end, I’m adopting a new approach.
Just start. Beginning any new project from the simplest short story to a new drawing often feels like standing in front of a ninety foot wall and attempting to climb. It’s hard, harder than it probably is for folks whose brains aren’t actively cheering them on to couch veg or sleep. My theory is that by taking the first difficult step and starting, it will be easier to follow through. We’ll see how it plays out in practice, but I’m hopeful. (Or as hopeful as pessimists can be XD)
So what’s the point of this and why am I bothering to post it here? This blog hasn’t had much activity lately, partly due to me being busy and partly due to all that in the paragraph above. I have plans for more posts and lots of things to share about the worlds and characters I love so much. Part of the resolution calls for me to improve the way I share the things I create and produce, and this blog provides the perfect forum. Anything I post up here, including updating and rounding out the info pages or posting old writing/artwork/photos, I’m calling a win. So I’ll hopefully be more active here in the very near future.