1541 The Choices We Make.


Everyone makes little choices like this all the time, and they are what separates the people who make great works from the people who think they could. The amount you have to give up is directly proportional to how much of yourself something will take to do. Sometimes what would be very little for one person to give up will be much more for someone else. For me it’s what people would call a normal life. I pour so much of myself into this, since I’ve never been very good at it so it takes me longer than it should, that I can’t have it and other things like relationships. But I made that choice and can’t blame anyone else for wanting to make this instead of having a family to look after me when I’m old. I think that what I make is my best possible contribution to the improvement of life for other people. I may be wrong, but that’s what I’m willing to risk.
I know so many people who could write amazing books, make comics, sculpt, write movies, or whatever… But they can’t or won’t give up something that keeps them from doing it. Which is not an indictment. For many of them the things they would have to sacrifice are enormous; things like family bonds, security, love. I see them lamenting the squandering of their talents, but I also hear them worrying about their siblings, planning for the future, and doing the things that they judge as more important than their crafts. Every person has to make those decisions for themselves. They have to ask what the greatest good is for their futures. Sometimes the stakes are not quite so high. Sometimes it comes down to wanting to play another game of Overwatch more than sitting down and hammering out a drawing. In my case I’ve got a stack of incomplete games versus a few thousand pages of the best I could do.
I think there’s a case to be made that I choose poorly. There are certainly people who think I’ve wasted my time and have made that belief very clear to me. I wonder sometimes if the reason they tell me this isn’t so much a deficiency in my work as much as guilt about not trying to make something themselves. They judged writing pages about why I shouldn’t be making a comic more important than making something themselves. Pulling down a house is hard, but it’s still easier than putting one up.
I’ve also got a theory about why people in Hollywood seem so out of touch with the people they make movies for. Basically, when you spend your life creating stuff like that you loose time for dicking around with stuff that regular people take for granted. On my small scale I have only a passing knowledge of the latest trends in popular culture. I know Overwatch is a thing, but I don’t know what system it’s for, I don’t know what anime is popular, I don’t know what’s happening in mainstream comics. I can’t afford to find out in most cases because of lack of time and lack of money. Which is why the longer I go along the more dated all my references become. I am no longer part of culture the way I was when I wasn’t making anything. And that’s on me. I’m so bad at making this comic that I can’t keep up with things. Getting sick and falling behind has only compounded things. I’ve never felt more disconnected to popular culture in my life, and it’s very unpleasant for someone who has basically connected with other people through popular culture his whole life.
Anyway… If you’ve ever wanted to make something think about this the next time you pick up a controller, or whatever. The window of creativity does not stay open forever.