Over the last few columns we’ve talked about building your plot, creating a cast of characters, and we’ve been moving forward at each step to the real deal: writing the comic. All these pieces of the foundation have been laid and now it’s time to build on top of it with our real story. It’s time to stop analyzing and start doing.
You sit down relaxed, all ready to write Chapter 1 Page 1 and then…
…Fear sets in.
It’s easy to talk about creating something – it’s not even really hard to brainstorm some neat stuff – but committing to that first real step, getting that ball rolling and really writing and drawing it is the tough stuff. People may joke about "writer’s block" or "bad art days", but you’re about to experience it first hand.
Maybe you have a great start to your story or a series of gags that you know will work, but after that you fear you’ll lose steam. Maybe you have a killer ending but are unsure of how to get your characters from the beginning to those memorable moments. You don’t want to write anything less than the best. After all, this is your moment to shine and you want everyone to love your story and characters. Like anything you put your heart and mind into, if it’s not appreciated, you could take it personally. What if you put all this time and effort in and it’s not what you expected?
Stop right there, before you give yourself an aneurysm.
Plan as well as you can. Build the pieces as well as you can but don’t noodle with story elements so long that the project fades away. Don’t get so hung up on every plot point or story blueprint to the point that you never begin the actual act of creation.
Don’t self-sabotage your creative efforts right as you make it to the starting blocks. No matter how much or how little writing you’ve done, you will struggle at times. No matter how well you plan, you will hit creative roadblocks and frustrations. Not every part of this story will be a graceful piece of perfection. You have to accept that before you start, or you may not make it to the finish line. Block out the doubts and distractions, and push ahead.
Just the act of creating is important. Just having the will to do it instead of saying you will do it separates you from 99% of the other people who wish they were creative. That alone makes it worth doing, no matter what anyone else says. You will grow and your work will grow… it’s inevitable. Page 1 will never feel the same or be the same as page 101. You may look back and wish that it was perfect right from the start, but the evolution of your work is more important and you keep going.
When you learn to accept these things and still make the leap into making your own stories, you’ll find the creative ride that much smoother