Last week I talked about how you know you should take a break and some simple steps that will hopefully aid you when taking this break.
But, how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye?
That’s a little tougher. Some times you may think it’s a stepping stone, you just need to take a step back, but some times when you take that step back and you’re ready to take a step forward, it just doesn’t do it. That story you once loved and felt extreme pride for is just… another story. A book you’re ready to put down, close and tuck away on the shelf.
What are the signs that maybe you’ve outgrown your comic?
Maybe you never feel like working on it, you don’t know how to proceed, you keep writing yourself into a corner or maybe you keep trying to re-boot it to fit your needs but even after you write new beginnings nothing quite works for you. Every path you take with this story leads to a dead end and you’re never happy.
Something to keep in mind is your happiness with your project. If your project doesn’t make you smile, there’s a big problem going on here and you’re unhappy with it.
But now you may ask, “what if I’m just unhappy with it? Can’t I change it?” absolutely, but how many times are you willing to change it until you’ve found the right path for you? Being a comic creator is filled with ups and downs but even through the downs you should still definitely find some sort of happiness with your project. You should be able to smile like an idiot when you think about your baby. If you’re not smiling like an idiot at least once, or heck, even crying about some dramatic scenario in your story at least once… then maybe this story just isn’t for you. You’ve outgrown it.
Another way to find out if you’ve outgrown is if you find yourself working on other comics and projects and this is a common scenario. You may still have some sort of love for the first project, but the truth is that it may just not cut it out for you anymore.
However, some people absolutely do take on an extra project just to have a little something different to work on from time to time, and that’s okay… but if you work on your second project a little more than your first, and you always want to work on the second one… then I kind of like to think of the Johnny Depp’s quote “if you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second.” and I kind of apply this when it comes to comics.
So now, we reach the another point of the article.
How do we say goodbye?
Some times we really don’t have to. We can put our project away for now and work on something else, but if you really want to say goodbye and you’re having a hard time, one thing I like to think about is how my previous projects all greatly helped me in my comic creator journey, from art to writing, storyboarding, how I go about every page. Everything I’ve learned in the past I apply now and I take great comfort in knowing my old projects helped me and they continue to help me.
I’ve made mistakes and I still make mistakes, truth is, I still love every project of mine, and I take comfort in the idea that there is still love there and it won’t ever go away, but that special flame has gone and my old projects walked so my new ones could run.
And that really means a lot.
Hope you all had a wonderful week, can’t wait to chat with you next Sunday.
Have you ever had to say goodbye to a project? Was it painful? What are some of the things you’ve learned from your old projects that you apply to your new ones? Let me know.
damehelsing at 12:00AM, Sept. 12, 2021
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