This is what I do when I am not writing or working on editing projects. Just for fun, but I feel like it is important to share. Sometimes once we choose a career, especially a creative career, hobbies seem wasteful. Like, why would you do that if you cannot earn money doing it? The market controls our lives, in this way.
When I draw or write for fun, I remember why I wanted to go down this path in the first place, why it matters to me, why I work and live to begin with.
My advice, then, this month is: Work to Live do not Live to Work. Find your joy during, after, and before you go through the chores of adulthood.
We are given an average of 75 years of life. By 25, in the US, we have all our legal rights. That leaves us with 50 years left. Make sure to use those 50 years living.
This week in Dragon Den news, we have EMERALD CITY COMIC CON! This is my first year attending this convention and I have to say, Seattle knows how to put on a good show of art, literature, and fandom pride. Emerald City Comic Con “is the premier comic book and pop culture convention in the Northwest, taking place in beautiful downtown Seattle, Washington” (as stated on their site).
Now, why would a well-educated writer be interested in comic cons? Or pop culture? Or, for that matter, anything besides literary fiction and poetry?
For the same reason this blog is called Dragon’s Den: I love to gather, collect, review, create, consume, and live art in all forms. Literary art, High Fiction, Low Fiction, Mid-grade, Paperback trade novels, classically bound art books, and all forms of beauty. This world is rift with wonder and comic cons are filled brimming with gold I would like to showcase.
But they also have something unique, something I had trouble finding in Graduate School.
Fearless love of the craft of creation.
I attended several panels, since the convention began late Thursday afternoon. Many of them were panels of how to break into the industry, how to forge a path in art, the business of writing, etc. Many gave advice I have heard before. I will now summarize them here:
MEET DEADLINES AND PROVE YOU CAN
BE A GOOD PERSON/LIKABLE
PRODUCE GOOD ART/FINISH YOUR WORK
Each panel kinda boiled down to those three bits. The last panel I attended, however, hammered home a lot for me, given these three seemingly simple rules. The speaker, Alex DeCampi, made it clear that creating your work, is work, and should be treated as such. Every artist must treat their work, their craft, like a 9-5 job. Be ruthless with your time because time is something everyone has a limited resource of. Money will come and go but time is always ticking away. Use it.
Also, you have to figure out how you plan to get to your work. Schedule it in. Have a 9-5 job? Work on your real work after 5 and don’t be afraid to be strict about it. Clock out and Clock in.
She also spoke about the feeling of needing permission to create work (and I have felt that need so hard). When she spoke about it, her words resonated with me:
You don’t need permission to create a tentacle kitty. DO IT. Trust me, someone will buy it. Hell, I bought one.
Create your own plan and give yourself permission to create the work you wish to create. Ultimately, that is what helps people get hired.
If you write a million words about a topic you hate, hoping to get a steady job in the field, you will get a job in the field… but you will hate it.
But… if you write for 10,000 hours, each month, about something you love, creating your worlds and poetry, you will get a job writing what you want, and you will love it…
Most of the time… The panelist also spoke about how the mindset changes once you are a professional. You get paid and there will be days when you just don’t want to inked that panel. But that deadline looms… The thing is, you got to. JUST DO IT. And get to the next panel.
With those thoughts, my lovelies, I will now end with a series of pictures. I hope these inspire you and get that fire in your belly ignited. Happy crafting!