Our struggles are probably different in some ways, and maybe the same in others. But as comic creators, there are certain issues many of us have in common:
Finding time to make our comics,
Spending too little time…or too much time on them,
Making decisions about our stories, like what they're about, what happens, etc
Making decisions about structural things like page length, release schedule, story length, etc
Working with collaborators,
Handling criticism, praise, or advice from friends or readers,
Wanting to be better at writing and art,
Wanting more readers,
Lack of confidence in ourselves and our abilities,
and so on
Add to that the challenges of the bigger picture of your life aside from making comics - the challenges, frustrations, decisions, surprises, and other people and events in life are diverse and endless.
How are we to handle all this stuff? There has been great advice in these Newsposts by our weekly contributors over the years - I'm gonna get a little more conceptual with it; maybe that will be useful to you.
The personal boundary is like a border around each of us. They're invisible - well, usually. Mine is hot pink.
No - of course, it's a psychological concept, and not a physical thing. But it has incredible real world applications and effects that can be felt when you use it.
Your boundary contains your identity, and separates you from other people and the rest of the world. Everything inside it belongs to you and is your responsibility, and everything outside of it is not your responsibility and is outside your control.
So let's look at one of the struggles from the list at the top - Handling criticism. The basic definition of the boundary - a shield separating you from everyone else - gives us a place to start. The critic is another person, and is therefore outside your boundary and by definition, not your responsibility or concern.
I knew a lady, a friend of my Dad's - very plain spoken and wise, and once I heard her say if someone is mean or rude to you, or says something hurtful, “you just let it roll right off your back”. She's talking about a boundary.
So if your boundary is intact, the criticism hits the boundary, and disperses harmlessly…like a blast on the shields of the Star Track Enterprise.
Now here you might be thinking that this doesn't help, because criticism CAN sometimes hurt. You were criticized and it made you sad, or angry, or frustrated. Believe me, I hear you!
In that case, the criticism got IN to your boundary. And once the criticism is in your boundary, it IS yours to deal with. And the negative emotion becomes yours to deal with. And it can be dealt with - we can do it without beating ourselves up, or starting a verbal war with the critic. That's a whole other topic we can look at in another Newspost or the comments here on the Duck if you like (I'm not on Facebook personally).
But the first line of defense is the boundary. When we talk about “being able to take a punch” or “having a thick skin”, this is what we're talking about. If negatives are getting in and messing you up, you have a hole in your boundary and may need to do some work to patch it up.
I don't mean that to sound glib - we ALL have holes in our boundaries to some degree, and to some level.
But if you are solid in your identity, know what you want, know your preferences and where you want to go - in short, if your boundary is well developed - then you are far more capable of handling criticism AND dealing with all the other problems listed above.
Your boundary is your superpower, and your birthright, and the key to solving multiple problems we face every day.
I realized this topic is much bigger than I want to cram into one Newspost so I'll leave it there for now. Maybe just a few Boundary-related bullet points that we can explore later -
Have a good one!
Banes at 12:00AM, June 3, 2021
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