I had a strange, somewhat broad New Years resolution when 2021 first began.
Now, I'm not one to usually make resolutions, but this felt like something I needed to change—something big. That thing was simple: I wanted to love things again.
The last couple years I had become so obsessed with producing and reaching an arbitrary finish line I stopped loving things. Of the many things I wanted to love again, writing and creating artwork was a big one.
I prided myself on my practicality. I was determined, I finished my work, I worked hard to produce my work, I was active on social media trying to figure out the next angle to get maximum likes and engagement, and bring traffic to the old blog AND . . . at some point, I stopped loving the creation process, and became absolutely obsessed with the numbers. If I didn't reach the finish line, I was upset and I beat myself up.
And that was depressing because I have a full time job, and obsessing over this ate up what free time I had and got in the way of actually writing.
The other issue is that I'm not in control of what other people want to read. Sure, I want people to read my work but . . . that's just not always going to happen. So if I obsess over the reception, I'm only going to end up feeling insignificant and inadequate unless I cross my "finish line."
And, of course, the biggie: I wasn't publishing, producing, and creating content I was truly happy with. My resume got longer and longer, my portfolio bigger and bigger, but I didn't feel the satisfaction you should feel. I learned a lot. But I wasn't . . . I wasn't happy.
I didn't love it.
What did I do? I reached a breaking point where I just wanted a clean slate. I took my published work offline, I cleared (most of) my uploaded YouTube videos, I restarted my website (blog included) and, probably the biggest, I cleared all my Instagram posts.
If this were a screenplay outline by Blake Snyder, this would be "Dark Night of the Soul" where I had hit rock bottom. What was I supposed to do now? I was lost. Finally, starting from a relatively blank slate, I was looking at what I was supposed to do now. I considered throwing away writing and art altogether. It was too stressful.
That was when two words rattled around in my head:
I was going to write comic books.
I think this was where it all started. I had originally, years ago, shaken my head at comic books because I thought No way, they're too expensive, and I won't make enough money if I do comic books and then I need to get an artist etc. etc. etc.
I wanted to do comic books.
At that moment, I stored my practical, producer hat away from me and just started working on something I loved. I loved drawing the pictures of the characters. I loved writing their stories down as a script. I loved it. Doing it made me feel energized and . . . well, happy.
And that was when the healing started.
I worked to erase that arbitrary finish line. It's still a process sometimes, but it's getting erased bit by bit. As a result, I'm looking at my writing and . . . I think I'm writing stuff I'm actually happy with. Slower, but without worrying so much about social media and how much money something is going to bring in and fretting over whether the release of something was a "success" I'm . . .
I'm not only happier, I'm writing better stuff. And that comic book series? Book one is on its way to being completed. The website went live just yesterday at www.asylumtheseries.com
With this on its way, especially because it was something I deemed "too difficult"initially, I'm thinking about the future and what else I love but never thought I could do.
I love drawing. I'm not a great artist, but I love it. One of my new favorite feelings is holding a paper that I breathed some life into with a pencil. Hopefully I will become much better someday. But now that I can just enjoy sitting down for twenty minutes a night and drawing something, I'm less concerned with what my art will be.
I'm even thinking about getting this blog back up and running. One of the big reasons I deleted the old blog was because I didn't like who I was when I was blogging. Rereading them, I realize there was only about half I liked. The other half was like . . . who is this pretentious person?
I don't want to be like that anymore. I just want to write because . . . well, I love it. Now, common expertise says I should be releasing these blogs on a schedule.
The new me says . . . forget that.
I'll release these when I'm inspired to and, if you're interested, you can follow along.
If not, all good.
At least, for now, because with 2022 on its way, I'm on my way to meeting my new years resolution. I'm on my way to loving writing and art again. Not because I've reached some kind of material success, but because I think I'm finally hitting my stride in loving the process.