Confession

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I haven’t worked on my book for a month and a half. The last time I sat down to, I gave up because there was no energy there. Even though people seem to like my story and are eager to find out what happens next, I am simply not compelled or inspired to work on it.

So the question becomes: do I force myself to continue? When I look at how much work I’ve put into this project, it makes me feel like I cannot quit; yet when I look at how much work is left to be done, quitting feels possible. Not only possible, but a relief. An unloading of some great burden.

Which makes me ask: Am I simply being a quitter? A coward? Afraid of hard work, and lacking the determination to follow through?

I used to work. Like a real job, with real hours, and real pay, in a real office. I quit because I sensed it was killing me, in some subtle yet fundamental way. Now I’m a cartoonist and like to think of my “work” as play. When you look at the “works” of Bill Watterson, Dr. Suess, or Shel Silverstein, you can see they are playing. They are having fun. It’s THAT which makes their “work” great. Now of course it still takes effort and patience and skill. But when you’re playing, everything aligns and feel effortless.

The truth is, I don’t know what I’m capable of, and this book doesn’t feel like it’s helping me discover that anymore. I like to think of the mind as a receiver, like a radio. If I’m tuned into one station all the time (the book), how can I discover anything new? There’s something out there which wants to be discovered, but I won’t find it if I’m circling familiar territory.

The graphic novel has helped me get to a place where I’m able to pick up more “radio signals”, and I’m not saying that I’m definitely ending it. But I am putting it aside for now, and casting my fishin’ line into the depths to see what else turns up. It’s a little scary, but the unknown always is.

8 thoughts on “Confession”

  1. Boo!! Yes you must continue! I am confused as hell too with my memoir! This is completely natural! To be expected!

    I dumped my big project on you one month & a half ago. Connection? Maybe, maybe not. I would imagine it is a daunting project–and could throw a wrench into your progress. When it’s out of the way I hope you will continue with your project…maybe what’s happening here is that there is a…different ending than you were expecting..

    Do what your heart tells you to do.

    I am considering getting a chihuahua. Pretty sure I’m just looking for a distraction from my book. (Oh look I have to take care of this little snot nosed shit instead of write my book..great!)

  2. It had nothing to do with the project I did for you. That was quick and easy; took about 3 mornings (I’ve even changed the fonts like you asked. You haven’t seen it yet, because… well… I’m bad at returning emails). The ending of my book hasn’t changed either. In fact, that’s part of the problem: I’ve had it complete in my mind for a year, and my imagination is chomping at the bit for something new and exciting.

    Mostly, I think it has to do with moving to a new place and the season. Spring and summer are a time of growth, and stepping away from this book is like being transplanted from a pot to a plot. That being said, there’s no saying I won’t return to it. I’m trying to follow where the Energy leads.

    If you’re facing confusion and your book is becoming a drag, maybe YOU need to explore?

    If you need a good distraction, why not have a kid?

  3. Dallion, I had to read this post several times over because of how relatable it is. I can relate to putting YEARS into something — getting -just- far enough to realize how much more work need be done, and then facing the — first terrifying, then exhilarating — fact that the person who began this project no longer exists. The passions that shaped that person aren’t even INTERESTS anymore, the struggles that shaped that person turned out not to hold a candle to the hardships to come, and, most excitingly, the blisses that person hungered for turned out to be, well, kinda meaningless compared to the fulfillments discovered since.

    AND YET.

    Maybe it’ll come back. Maybe the person you’re becoming will eventually say to the person who started this book, “Hey, come over here, the water’s great, we can totally DO this!”

    or…

    Maybe whatever’s in this unknown space will form the new rivulets and tributaries on this entirely unpredicted terra firma, the one you’re creating now. From a practical standpoint, there is a serious and very real market for the Day in the Life comics you draw. I think those should be a book, and you should pitch it to Marnier — they publish renowned graphic memoirs, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be lookin’ your way.

  4. Yes, you’ve experienced similar phenomena with the Mermaid project, haven’t you? You must have, because you understand completely.

  5. I’m proud of you for all the work you’ve done on this project. Even if you never go back to it, it is time well spent. And who knows…. it may one day speak to you again and ask for more attention. Let it be. Breathe deep, stretch, move, play- enjoy the sun and summer. You will know what to do next. <3

  6. I was sort of shocked, sad and speechless when I read “confession”
    Wish I would have had more time and a more calm atmosphere to preview your story, but you know I loved it and was looking forward to seeing it completed.

    You have wonderful feedback from your friends, I love reading their responses and
    agree with all of them. Lucky YOU!
    Aunt G

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