Friday, September 7, 2012

Refocusing my Attention

I think I sabotage myself.

This summer I was supposed to be working on a second collection of comics. That was the plan. You would think after ten plus years of busy summers I would learn the lesson, but I always cling to hope that this year will be different. I like to indulge my inner optimist.

I did try to take steps to work on the book, but I can't say I made it a priority. Summer is for playing in my garden, digging,weeding, and mowing. It is also when I work on home improvement projects. I've tried to keep up my exercise regimen--at least five days a week since January. This still would have left plenty of time for writing if I hadn't been inspired to join the Alternet art project

Again, I did try to write. I joined a newly formed local writers' group to encourage myself, but the group was not the right fit, and added work to my already overloaded schedule in the form of critiquing. I wasn't crazy about critiquing or being critiqued in the first place. I am hard enough on myself. Without going into detail, I will simply say that my confidence is lower than it has been for years as far as my writing is concerned. 

I've decided I need to refocus on my art and my family. Art has always been my greatest strength, and my family can't help but demand my attention. The writing was happy simmering on the back burner for years before I started messing with it. Before I burn out completely, I want to go back to writing comic strips instead of trying to market them. Some people are really good at selling their work. I am not. Some day I will overcome this weakness, but that will take effort. I simply don't have the energy for it right now. And who knows? Maybe going back to drawing my comics will inspire me to write again.

I hope to have new comics up in a week or so.


Paula Vince said...

I hope you do complete it. I have to say in all honesty that your "No School Today" is my favourite of the homeschooling books on my shelf, and I have quite a few. I do agree about groups having to be the right fit.

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you, Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I will eventually finish it, but I think I need to do it at a slower pace than I had set as my goal. Hopefully, it shouldn't take the ten years it took me to finish the first collection!

Kez said...

There's no point pushing yourself and turning it into a chore. Go back to what you love, and if something else grows from it, great. If not, you're doing something you love.

I wish I lived closer and we could form our own writing group :) If you ever want to form a virtual one, you know where I am!

christinethecurious said...

Good for you to decide something wasn't working and re-direct. Once you do have the next book out, I'll put it on my Christmas wish list - and my husband will buy it for me because he's the one who read the first book first! (It hid from me in the bathroom. There is no greater compliment than that.)

When you want to try marketing yourself in a more natural style for you, see if this book fits better (it's by an independent yarn dyer)

jugglingpaynes said...

Thank you Kez and Christine! Kez, I may take you up on that once I'm ready to go back to the writing. Christine, thank you for the link. I will definitely take a look at it when I have some quiet time.

Thanks everyone for your support. I'm so grateful to know all of you!

Inner Elder said...

You are wise to listen to your heart and give yourself the freedom to re-focus your goals. I think you use your time well - there's never enough time to get it all done the way it "should" be. But I hope you do finish the book and also the story from the writing group. You ARE a good writer - better than most of the books on the shelf at B&N. I am sorry the group struck a blow at your self-confidence: the rest of us will suffer patiently until your confidence returns. Meanwhile I look forward to your new comics, my multi-talented daughter! Love ya! Mom

Anonymous said...

When something comes from the spirit of service as oposed to a spirit of personal satisfaction, it is bound to succeed. Your comics are just that.
Love you anyway, Dad

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