Legacy

I haven't been the most creative lately. I've been productive, but I wouldn't say creative. I've thought a lot about being creative- came up with plans and ideas, stories and topics to explore in future comic pages. But when it comes to the doing of those comic pages, I've fallen short. Dragged my feet. Not done the best I could have been doing.

Some might say lazy, but my to do list suggests otherwise. Every week, things get done. Horses get fed, I show up to my part time job on time and I visit my family. Every obligation to anyone else gets done.

And that's when it hit me.

Everyone else: External from myself. I prioritise everyone around me, not necessarily because I find it's more important, but because something outside of myself is depending on me and I don't want to let them down.

I'm externally motivated. To an unhealthy degree, probably.

And that's why this project of mine, The Golden Troupe, has been dragging. I don't have any obligation to work on it, except to myself. I could find external motivation to work on it, but I don't think that is a good idea. What if that motivation falters? Goes away? Wanes from one week to another?

Another thought that's been seeping into my consciousness lately has been the topic of legacy. It happens all the time: JK Rowling will forever be known for Harry Potter. JRR Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. George RR Martin and The Game of Thrones. (Maybe it's a curse of using two initials in your name, I guess I'm safe there!)

Some people are known for more than one thing or are known for a larger genre of things. Stephen King isn't known for any one book in particular, he has any number under his belt and if you got 5 people together and asked what's the best one, you'd probably get 5 different answers.

But the question still weighs heavily on my mind. You kind of only get one shot to be known for something, maybe two if you're lucky, then that's it. That's your thing that will go down in history. That's very intimidating to me. I think way too much and sometimes act too little out of fear of getting typecast by my own doing.

In the past, I've largely avoided committing to any one project. Partly due to a supreme lack of patience, partly due to the fear above. Is it the fear of failure or success? Or both? Or neither? I'm not sure, but it's crippled me for years now. I finally feel I'm on the cusp of something great, something I'm really excited about and spend most of my waking hours thinking about doing, but six months have passed and I don't have six months worth of backlog for my comic. I have a handful of sketches and not even shared consistently enough to warrant excitement from anyone else in anticipation of this new project. Why am I dragging my feet? What's holding me back?

The fear of being trapped mixed with the uncertainly of how to be self motivated in my own work.

Maybe it's just a habit I need to break, given I've spent the past decade jumping from project to project. I should learn to set a schedule and stick to it. Find the things that fascinate me and focus on them. But at the end of the day, it's all up to me. In the past, I've lamented that it's a lack of audience, not enough eyes on my work, no one's commissioning me because they don't know about me yet. Well, when it's all my own project and I'm not working on it, there's only one person to blame. I can't complain about that, at least, not very convincingly.

So what to do about it all?

Well, isn't that the million dollar question? How do you go from being very externally motivated to internally motivated? How do you ignore the worries about what people think about your work, or worry if anyone will even care at all?

I'm still working on it, but if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for reading and I hope you find your passion and can act on it <3

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