Just Not Getting It

All the remaining pages for Spirit Shepherd are finished. They’ll be posting tomorrow and next week, and then this story will be over. Folks who have reached out to me have expressed that they’ve enjoyed it! It was fun for me to make and we’ll definitely be seeing Saritha again after this concludes next week, but it’s time to prepare to move on to the next story.

We’re going back to Kadaz for more dwarf drama, because that story isn’t anywhere close to being finished yet.

In preparation for the next Kadaz story, I sat down to begin working on the “cover page” to display while I take the scheduled week off between stories. I was convinced it was going to be an easy work day because I knew who the story would be focusing on and I knew what I wanted to draw.

At least I thought I did.

My original idea didn’t work the way I envisioned it. So I tried something else. That looked too lazy. So I went back to my original idea. It looked worse. And then I had an idea for an image that looked really neat but had nothing to do with the story I was planning to tell. So I started to consider changing my original idea to fit the new cover image idea. I scrapped that and tried another idea. It sucked. All the while the clock was ticking down to the time to pick up my son from school, effectively ending my work day. By the time I was halfway through my free time to work I had nothing to show for it.

Some days are just like that. Some days you sit down with a clear picture in your mind but it hits a major bump on its way to the page. Some days are so bad you appear to forget how to draw altogether, and are getting such basic and practiced things wrong that you begin to question the stability of your skills. Some days are so frustrating that you become convinced that the nagging voices of doubt in your head have been right all along.

Part of being a comics creator is learning to manage those bad days. Sometimes you don’t have the liberty to step away for a day and recuperate. Sometimes you have a deadline to keep, self-imposed or otherwise, and you need to power through these hiccups and mental roadblocks. Will it be your best work? Probably not. But you have to accept that some days will be bad and your best may not be the best you’ve ever made, but it was the best you could do that day. And that’s okay, because there’s always the next page or even just the next panel.

Comics are like music. They don’t stop just because you flubbed a note or made a wonky panel. There’s always the next note. There’s always the next panel. There’s always a chance to recover if you just keep going forward.