And now a word....
rainingbells on March 30, 2008
To the site, LJ, Drunkduck, DevArt, MySpace, ComicSpace – this is a global. Not to be so much with the drama, tho….
I've spent the last year and change working on Sune issue 5. I've felt something I haven't felt in years and had a difficult time putting my finger on, but I knew I'd felt it before and had a notion of what it was, but not how to put it into words. Not sure I wanted to.
Anthony and I have been working on something that takes place in the same universe as Sune and Endless Winter, something on which he'd do the art, while I scripted. Now, while I can bang out a script for an issue in six or so hours when I have my brain around where and why it happens, this one has been fighting me for months. I'd been working with it on the side, between working on Prenna, Sune, Endless Winter, and an attempt at new Dimension shorts.
Look, without me getting more verbose than I already have (course we know that's not going to work, you watch), I'm pushing burnout again. When I was talking to Anthony tonight I told him I knew the feeling but I wasn't sure when and where from, and without missing a beat, like any friend who really gets you, with whom you've had history, he said, “Prenna,” and he was right. That one word said it. 1999, and what ended the original incarnation of Prenna.
Now back then, what ended Prenna was that to me the world was broken. The story was broken. I had tried to force it and as a result it had holes in it that, while minor or completely unnoticeable to most people, were so blinding to me that I couldn't focus on the story anymore. I'm going to say right now, this is NOT the current case. I do not view Sune, Endless Winter, or Prenna V2 as broken. However, what I am going through as a creator is the same.
I look at what I do as a second job, a second full-time job, and I'm trying to create this universe in a way that makes me happy, but I'm trying to do it in a window of time that would be laughable to even refer to it as “part-time”, and while I have, over the last year, started to reach out for the first time in over ten years to people like Anthony and Hexx and Grace for assistance, I am still trying to shoulder most of it myself, on multiple books, looking at it as if it's a full-time job, and trying to treat the Stormchild comics as if they, and I, are a Marvel, DC, or Image and obviously failing miserably. This is not an assembly-line operation of corporate comics, where I do one task and can then pass it on to the next person, turning out one completed book a month, certainly not three. I've tried to deny it, half-acknowledge it, and then without a good answer by which to remedy the situation, go back to trying to juggle them all by myself (for the most part) a couple weeks later. However it has finally caught up with me. Hexx has watched me say I'm going to work on something and then come to find me still staring at the page three hours later, with maybe a piece of a line down, if I'm lucky.
I keep wanting to turn out work for a variety of reasons, including the feeling that I owe it to those of you who enjoy the work, but you know, what I owe to you and, most importantly to myself as a creator, is to produce a piece of work that is good, not rushed. Something with which I as the creator am happy. I am not a Marvel or a DC, I don't have the crunch or the deadlines, and while you guys don't generally (ok, every now and then there's one or two in my inbox) get on my case when I haven't updated in a while, I feel bad about not giving y'all new pages. I'm doing it to myself. I'm making myself carry this load on my shoulders that just about no one could carry pushing the same schedule, and then I kick myself on y'all's behalf when I start to stumble.
Only this time I have the benefit of having gone through this before. And I have the benefit of having people close to me who have seen it. I'm not going to push myself to the point of hating my current projects, or to where my desire to produce makes me break the worlds and stories on which I'm working. I'm pulling back before that happens. I'm going to take a break. A real break, not a “I'm on hiatus but really I'm going to try to do at least as much as I was doing before if not more, just quietly” break. That's akin to trying to quietly prepare for a triathlon while suffering from pneumonia. It's stupid.
It's taken its toll, and the last few months, the confusion surrounding the death of my father, my trying to suss out my feelings for him and for that part of my family, what I left the sister I barely know to deal with in all of that mess…none of that has helped. And while the high point of the last year was the birth of my daughter, a huge thing…well, as frequently comes with that, there has not a lot of sleep for dad and mom, so I'm sure that's added a bit to my inability to focus creatively and the associated frustration.
I need to step back, take some real-live breathing room. Maybe even, as has been suggested, packing up my pages so I don't see them every time I sit down; I have pages for different projects everywhere. Don't let it get to the point where I was when rounding out 1999. I'll likely still go to cons, we'll see. My main focus right now I think is attending to the well being of my creative energy, and the long-term health of my projects. For me and for y'all.
Thank you for your continued patience.