I was browsing the Daily Deviations on DeviantArt and came across this comic called “Make Your Milestones”, also hosted on “Doodle Alley”:
Since I’ve just started my NaNo (3400 words or so and holding), this seems especially true. It is also something that I didn’t understand right out of college. This comic does a nice job of putting into words the difficulty of knowing -what you want- from life.
I want a lot of things. To update this blog regularly. To rewrite just about everything I’ve ever written (probably up to and including this post right here). To draw a comic every day (or, y’know, once a week). To finish various stories. To entertain. To share my faith.
It’s very easy to get sucked into life. To not achieve these things or, as I’ve found quite often, to duck my head and not try to do anything because someone else is already doing it way, way better than I am. In that case, it would just be embarrassing to try, wouldn’t it?
That’s where the other Doodle Alley strip “Brick by Brick” comes in (http://doodlealley.com/2011/10/31/brick-by-brick/) — masters are no excuse for not trying. Yes, there are bookstores lined with well-written books, some of which have never received press time. There are plenty of young cartoonists online (who obviously sketch regularly –I found someone yesterday who looked like they had snuck into Glen Keane’s workshop and borrowed his hand).
But “everyone’s better than me” isn’t an excuse for not trying. If I want to be what I say I want to be, I have to make goals and move towards them.
Oh, one more thing to plug so this all balances out: David Torday’s essay in the “Glimmer Train” bulletin: http://www.glimmertrain.com/b58torday.html
As Torday suggests, everyday life does help you get more in touch with your writing — the brittle leaves cascading off the trees sound like breaking things on the sidewalk, skittering along. I wouldn’t know that if I didn’t leave the house today. Course, I’ll probably have to use that comparison in a unicorn stampede later or something, but it’s the thought that counts…