By now, I have to realize the obvious. My 31 Day Challenge has just been really thrown out the window. 10 posts out of 28 days (today would make it 11) is really less than stellar.So, what to do?
I’m going to finish out the rest of the month with what I’ve got. Call it a wash. Start again. Perhaps a M-W-F schedule, like I’ve seen several webcomics do.
As an exercise, which this ultimately is, I can say that I’m an out of shape blogger. However, if I can draw parallels to other exercise programs like going to the gym or running, I can say that I’ve got a baseline performance level which I can now beat.
Should I do this again?
But there’s a lot more preparation to do if I take this up again.
Strictly speaking, date wise, I’m running two days behind on posts. Once again, however, there’s a difference between getting stuff absolutely “perfect,” and just going ahead and doing something.
Besides, the 31 Day Challenge is an exercise. And last time I checked, exercise means looking horribly unfit, at least in the beginning. Persistent effort changes that, and the next time you exercise, you look less unfit. And it repeats, until whatever you’re doing comes easily to you.
So here’s to looking like a mess at first, with the promise that it will come easily eventually.
I’ve discovered that this 31 Day Challenge isn’t the easiest of undertakings. I’m tempted to skip posting because sometimes, the ideas I have don’t pan out. Or, I’m not happy with how the cartoon came out.
That’s when I’m reminded of certain sayings I’ve picked up. Some I learned in school. Like, every artist has 1000 bad drawings in them, and the sooner they come out, the better. Or, as I learned when I took up running (twice), any forward progress is good; it doesn’t matter if you ran two miles or twenty, you’re lapping everyone sitting on the couch.
There’s a temptation to not reveal anything until it’s “absolutely perfect,” to hide away the day’s efforts because it doesn’t look good. Well, part of this 31 Day Challenge is to post something everyday, warts and all. And that’s a good thing. If this were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
Twelfth Night is one of William Shakespeare’s comedies. It was believed to have been commissioned for performance on the Feast of the Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas, and marks the day’s occasion for topsy-turviness. Peasants became kings, and nobles became common. It was a holiday of fun, frivolity, and the play reflects this with a screwball romantic comedy filled with mistaken identities, cross-dressing, singing buffoons, and an unfortunate fashion faux pas.
I was debating on finishing this sketch or posting it immediately for the 31 Day Challenge and moving on. I’ve got some ideas for a week’s worth of cartoons like a week dedicated to superheroes, or tv shows, or some other theme. As it is, I’ll go ahead and mark this as a “work in progress,” as I build this from a blue-pencil sketch to a proper digital painting.
I was just reading this excellent post from Faith Erin Hickes. It’s a testament to the power of perseverance, and something I completely agree with.
Incidentally, this story reflects a lot of the experiences of myself and my peer group. I lot of my college friends, past co-workers, and current friends can relate to this. As Tony Robbins has said, “In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
Sadly, most of his websites are down for the moment, but his blog purge theory is still up and running.
“Clap! Snap! The black crack
Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!
And down down to Goblin-town
You go, my lad!
Clash, crash! Crush, smash!
Hammer and tongs, knocker and gongs!
Pound, pound, far underground!
Ho, ho! My lad!
Swish, smack! Whip crack!
Batter and beat, yammer and bleat!
Work,work! Nor dare to shirk,
While Goblins quaff, and Goblins laugh,
Round, round, far underground
Below, my lad!”
So what’s all this about a 31 Day Challenge?
The idea is simple; post every day in the month of January about anything. It’s a way to build a habit, to generate content, and to have something to show off after the end of the month.
As it is, I choose not to go with a theme or general topic, outside of drawing each day, every day, and posting the results. Drawing for pleasure is like a conversation with yourself. There’s room for the conversation to evolve, to change completely, and perhaps to come back to the original point.
I choose to draw, and see what flows out, and I invite you to come with me.