Lately, I’ve been having a problem with staying focused. It’s not that I’m losing my passion for BlackGuard. It’s everything else that goes along with trying to make BlackGuard, as well as BOSC Comics, successful. There’s a part of me that feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day, but there’s also a part of me that feels like I don’t use the time that I do have wisely. Sometimes, I’ll plan to use an open block of time to get work done, but instead, I’ll spend the majority of the time zoning out, thinking about everything except what I was supposed to be doing.
The last time I felt I was working efficiently was back in July, when I was writing the script for “The Hero Plot Trial”. I had no problem dedicating a few hours each day to this because it was something I enjoyed doing. I like crafting stories, so much that it barely feels like work to me. Of course, I tell myself all the time that if we plan to be successful, we can’t just always do what’s fun. There’s so much more that goes into BlackGuard than just writing and drawing it. I don’t want to just be some guy who makes comics as a hobby. I want to be a professional. I want comics (or any other form of storytelling) to be my life career. To do this, I feel that I have to be willing to dedicate time to business, networking, research, etc. Yet, when it comes time to do these things, my mind wanders and I end up getting nothing done.
This has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. A few nights ago, I even had a dream in which, amongst all the random events, I was still worrying about how little work I’ve been getting done. At some point in the dream, I ended up in a room with Darius Doome. If anyone new is reading this, Darius Doome is one of the main characters in the BlackGuard comic (seen here). I didn’t seem to notice I was talking to a fictional character, let alone one that I created. I was just impressed as I watched him toying with another one of his genius inventions. With tools in both hands, he was almost oblivious to the world around him. He had completely immersed himself in his work. I finally asked him, “How do you stay so focused?” In typical Doome fashion, he responded without even bothering to look up from his latest project. “This is just what I do,” he said.
I woke up shortly afterwards, and Doome’s answer to my question stuck with me. He is, after all, an extension of myself, so it’s not like I’m just taking advice from some random madman. His response was short, simple, and completely honest. I have many jobs as one half of the Brothers of Spontaneous Combustion, but first and foremost, I’m a storyteller (loosely referred to as a writer). Like inventing is to Darius Doome, storytelling is “what I do”. Yet, aside from tossing around some ideas with Will about the next chapter of BlackGuard, I haven’t written anything in over three months. I’ve been busy making a business plan, re-lettering old pages, and redesigning our website. So my question is, to all the creative people out there trying to make a career out of something you’re passionate about, at what point do you stop spending so much time on everything else, and start doing what comes naturally?