Recently, I turned 25. In the weeks that followed, I’ve had some pretty long reflection sessions and a few changes in attitude. I guess once you get smack into the middle of your 20s, things start to look different. Well, this prompted a longer than usual Facebook post from myself about time. That is, my time, and how I spend it. See, I’ve always been pretty self conscious about the prospect of telling people I can’t do something because I’m working on comics. I can’t say why, exactly, but it never seemed like the other person would take that as a serious reason. Sure, it’s what I love, and it is the path I chose to walk, but it’s just comics, right?
Well, I had a hard look at that and decided, hey, that’s not right. Now, it’s not really like the people close to me have personally showed me this attitude. In fact, they’ve been great. But I’ve always been paranoid that, to them, this was just a hobby. I guess that could be the insecurity of the artist. But I think when you’re chasing a goal, you have that feeling. At least in the beginning. When you realize how much time you’ll have to put into catching that dream, you know that you’ll have to cut into that free time. Especially if you have a job, like most people when they start to run down that dream (taken from sir Thomas Petty).
I guess I always thought that if I bailed on my friends and family for comics, they wouldn’t understand. But as I’ve said, they are supportive people. As it turns out, my Facebook post got a lot of positive feedback. Lots of people telling me they understood, and people who are also artists and musicians telling me they used to be in the same boat, and that one must push on. It’s nice to hear other people are going through the same thing as you. It’s great to know you’re not alone. And not to mention, if those people worked through it, so can I. And so can you, if you feel that way.
I definitely forgot you could use gifs on WordPress until just right now. This is great.
Anyway, if you are feeling a little guilty about making time for your goals, don’t worry. Most people will support you. And if they don’t, you don’t need that! I know it’s easier said than done, but little by little I’m starting to let go of the fear I had about alienating people by simply pursuing my goal. I know that sometimes people don’t think that art is an actual use of time. More of a recreational thing. While this is wrong, you don’t even really have to explain this to people. If they don’t get it, they probably won’t get it. That’s how it goes. The thing is, in order to become good at anything, you have to do that thing a lot. If it’s drawing, or singing, or playing football. You have to work at it.
And you should not feel bad about it. Well, that’s what I learned this last week, anyway. I guess that sometimes I assume people might not know how much work goes into a comic (even one that looks like mine!) but more often than not, people will understand if you say you’re busy. And most of the time, it was only my inner doubt that made a problem out of things. Like many, many other times, I was my own worst enemy.
In the end, you will need all the time you can. Look at comics, specifically. There’s pretty much always something for me to do. If I’m not writing, I’m drawing, or inking, or coloring, or lettering, or plugging the hell out of everything. There’s always an item on the list. Now, maybe I don’t always use my time wisely every single day, but I’m starting to ween myself off the excuse that what I do isn’t good enough to tell other people I’m busy. Now that I think about it, I guess it could be a bit of a cultural thing. It might seem that this work isn’t really “work” to some people. But damn is that wrong. I have literally shed blood, sweat, and tears for this thing. Well, I don’t know about tears, but I’ve come close. Listen, it all comes down to something very simple:
Warned you about the gif thing.
Futurama hasn’t led me astray yet, so you should listen to Hermes. Although, you can ignore that “Even if it’s not a good idea!” line, I don’t want you to start thinking about that and get discouraged. The point that both Hermes and I are trying to make is that you have to do what you love. That thing that burns inside you with a passion is what it’s all about. And in order to do that, you will have to give it a lot (read: most) of your time. But it’ll pay off in the end. Not only do you spend time doing what means most to you, but you’ll get better at it, and then maybe you’ll even get good. And once you’re good at the thing you love, who knows what you’ll be capable of.
As usual, I find myself rambling a bit. Just take it from me that you shouldn’t feel bad about spending your time chasing goals, and you don’t have to apologize for it. And I really want to thank everyone who responded to that Facebook post. It really gave me the boost I needed. This issue had been bothering me for a while now, and to know that, well, it’s not really an issue, that gave me a boost as a person and as a creator. Thanks.
Now, go do what you love!