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:new: Hey guys! I came across this journal from Kelly Mysticaya-StarRain, who's struggling to try and become a full-time digital artist and applying for disability. (So her story is similar to mine.) I'm just trying to do what I can to pay it forward.

Here's her journal, give it a look. Thanks!

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Happy New Year! :la:

First, thanks again to :icon47ness: -- you know what for. :D And thanks to :iconelectricecko:, :iconspinester: and :icontrivialtales: for commenting on my previous journal about the review.

I don't usually make new years resolutions. It's always seemed like people describe resolutions, like "lose ten pounds" or "stop smoking", that mostly don't come to pass for a variety of reasons. So I always thought "why bother setting a goal I won't achieve or will give up on?" And moreover, if I'm going to set goals, why wait specifically for the New Year? Why not set goals all the time? When I changed my diet and lost 40lbs in just a couple months in 2015, I didn't need to wait for the new year, I just had to read the right book. Granted, it was a pretty challenging book - not one graph or visual aid that I remember in 450 pages, but loads of places where one would have been incredibly useful. Nonetheless, losing the weight only took committing to that book and switching to a zero-carb diet.

So I'm a bit surprised that I'm making a resolution for 2017. This past year I set a goal (I didn't call it a resolution) to earn my living with comedy. Long story short, we had to help my mom move in with us across country in the early part of the year and adding that on top of more normal yearly setbacks really hurt my progress and I achieved only 4% of that goal. Despite all that, I still managed to update regularly throughout the year with no gaps. Every month in 2016 I updated our Patreon 6-12 times. I think this is the point at which a lot of people just give up. Heck, I think unless there's serious motivation, most people give up if they can't achieve something in 30 days, much less seeing only marginal progress after a year. Don't get me wrong, I've been disparaged... I'm not some Pollyanna who runs headlong into a threshing machine with a goofy grin on my face. The past few months were a real challenge for me and it's the first time in several years that I experienced any real depression. But I'm working to manage my depression, the same way I manage my diabetes, our car, and our house, by researching what I can do and making a plan to do it.



I mentioned before that we had a comical number of setbacks in December, and that was all well before the recent bad review. And I admit, it's been challenging to see the kind of drive-by race-baiting in that review... and then I had an epiphany last night while talking to another DeviantArtist. They're having a lot of anxiety that if they continue to tell people they're a trans man that people will label them a Social Justice Warrior (something to do with discussions of the complexity of gender). Although I can't find it now, the gist of my response was, "if someone is calling you an SJW, that doesn't say anything about you, it just makes them an asshole. You should never let an asshole dictate how you feel about you. Just let them be an asshole and move on with your awesomesauce day."

The whole thing hit me all at once. All the things I've said about heckling or trolling, how research shows that trolling is a sociopathic and/or narcissistic behavior, Pizzagate and fake news. This whole story arc I've been writing about Amity dealing with rumors about her, leading up to her conversation with Trayvon Martin (and associated misconceptions about him) and then with Delilah. I wasn't taking my own advice. I've been letting assholes get to me. :nod:

This epiphany is a long time in the making. A few months ago I was strung out about Facebook. I posted a status update there talking about how I was feeling very conflicted but that I had decided to just start blocking anyone I found foaming at the mouth on my feed -- even though those are usually friends of friends whom I don't know (who are no longer allowed to comment on my Facebook). It took my friend Rebecca Gyno-Star commenting to tell me I shouldn't feel bad or apologize about curating my Facebook experience, before I realized that all I was doing was preventing sociopaths from wasting my time. (And that I was allowing the Facebook algorithm to draw the trolls to me like a magnet.) And then of course I wrote that article about how, if you plan to earn your living with comedy, you basically have to deal with hecklers, it's just part of the job. And after all that, I still wasn't really on the ball when I got that review.

I only achieved 4% of my goal of earning my living with comedy in 2016, which means I have to get better at selling myself this upcoming year. At only 4% per year, that would have me reaching sustainability in 25 years time (age 67), so that's a no go. This upcoming year, I'm still resetting my goal to earn my living with comedy in 2017, and I'll be happy if I do twice as well as I did last year (achieving 8%).

In addition, I am making a new years resolution, and that's to do a better job taking my own advice. :nod: Let assholes be assholes and get on with your awesome day! :D

My next step is to start on my 2016 retrospective for my Patreon where I'll examine everything I accomplished and what I can improve on in 2017. Speaking of improving, for anyone else starting into comics, I recommend the Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics by Comfort Love and Adam Withers. It's one of only three small items I got for Christmas this year (which is fine, I was expecting nothing actually, so it was a nice surprise). On the one hand, I already know most of what I'm reading, but I do think it's a pretty good book for anyone starting out in comics. Although I disagree that you need six-years of prep before drawing the first page of a story. ;P

What are your resolutions?

Sam

I had an epiphany recently, and although I usually don't, I'm making a New Years Resolution for 2017.
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:icongyno-star:
Gyno-Star Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Doubling to 8% of your all-income-from-comedy goal is a good idea. What if you doubled every year? Next year it'd be 16%. Then 32%, then 64%. You'd be at your goal in 5 years.
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Yay! :la:

Thanks, Rebecca! :hug:
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:icon47ness:
47ness Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017
Seems like dealing with trolls will always be a textbook case of asymmetrical warfare. Like, on our side we have to wield reputable facts, critical thinking skills, razor wit, and a general craft for entertainment. Their side just has to go "TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP! BUILD THE WALL! USA! USA!" and hit copy/paste.

But good on you for taking up that kind of fight. :aww:

I don't know if I have any deadset resolutions. Obviously I want SSnPP the comic to be done so I can move on to the next phase. There's going to be a progressive rally on Inauguration Day near my area so that's a start for changing things.
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Al! :hug:

Yeah, how many pages you got left in that book?

Rally sounds cool... maybe I should look into progressive groups around Dayton.
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:icon47ness:
47ness Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017
Ugh, I only have less than two dozen pages, but it's been such a miserable time even getting to them. Not to burn any bridges or anything, but at the middle of 2016 I agreed to take on a ton of online gigs not realizing that suddenly at the end of the year I'd be getting much nicer studio gigs, but require 100% of my attention. So basically I played myself. :accordion: 

Yeah; I just feel like I need to be out there more, staying connected. Even if it's for a local cause at least it's something.
Reply
:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
:nod: I know those feelings.

Why would that story about committing yourself to too much work burn a bridge? ... I'm not sure I understand how you're using that idiom.
Reply
:icon47ness:
47ness Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017
Well I don't want my clients/employers to think they're burdening me? ^^;

Guess I'm just a liiiittle paranoid about how nowadays one's personal social media posts are now used as blackmail in a professional sense. :paranoid:
Reply
:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, gotcha... like if they saw this journal... yeah, I don't think they're likely to be upset about you expressing a little regret about how much work you took on. I think that's a fairly common experience that most people can relate to. I've done it.
Reply
:icon47ness:
47ness Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017
  Big Fool Emoji-03 (Creep Stare) [V2]
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:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
:nod:
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:icondinkidingo:
DinkiDingo Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a really good epiphany. You shouldn't give them any power in your life, your life is yours and you get to choose who is in it or not.

As for myself, I don't have any resolutions -shrugs- I didn't think to make any, didn't think it'd be worth it. To each their own though, I really hope you're able to achieve yours c:
Reply
:iconwoohooligan:
woohooligan Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Todd. :hug:
Reply
:icondinkidingo:
DinkiDingo Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :hug:
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