The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby marinschild » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:23 am

Jennifer wrote: Gah... if there is one thing I hate about doing my comics it is the issue of burnout. I am pretty darn diligent, I work hard, and I keep a solid pace, year after year after year. But eventually, after the second or third year of doing the same comic, or the same group of comics, I start to suffer burnout. It just gets harder and harder to draw.

This is happening now to me, which is why I took a week off of To Save Her.

Burnout is a real problem. I still love the story, but I no longer love the work. And the work is how the thing gets made at all. This is where I have to grind, to force myself. Oh, I hate when this happens.

I dare not just up and take a decent vacation - I will lose the rhythm, my... ability to tell the story. The longer I stay away, the greater the risk that I will just lose all capacity to finish the story at all. Or so I greatly fear.

On the other hand, I need a break. What to do?

I guess what I will try is to take the odd week off now and then, if I have something that really needs to be enjoyed, that will help at all. Last week's mini-vacation was all Super Smash Brothers Brawl on the Wii. And a bit of Warhammer 40K. And some PSP Patapon and Gurumin fun. But mostly Brawl. It helped. A bit.

Not enough though.

What especially galls me, though, is that this is just the point where things start to heat up in the story, where the really cool stuff happens. What a crappy place to get an artistic flat tire!

But I always finish my work. That much you can trust. Eventually, I always finish what I start, if I at all can.

So, hang in there, and I will hang in there too.

But, I may have to take the odd week off now and then. Just to keep my sanity.

I'll try to avoid doing it too much.


I just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear that you're having some issues with burnout. But that is the deal with grinding I guess. All that friction builds up heat and begins to spark a flame. Its bound to happen if you push yourself too hard.

I wouldn't like it if you pushed yourself too hard and had another one of those heart palpitations. So please do what you must to ensure that your health isn't overall compromised. You'll never finish the comic if you get worse and end up having a stroke or something.

Be careful... I'm loosing you... Roll? Sorry I couldn't help myself. I just love Megaman. But seriously try to keep yourself healthy. I'll keep your well being in my thoughts. Hopefully the law of attraction will be of some good use.
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby Anna » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:28 am

Hm, a burn out or a writers blockade?
Or both?

I think your brain needs some new inputs...

You see, when I made my parodies of your work, I had normally a lot to do with my own job, but that was boring.
So I allowed me to put me in a stress situation, which wasn't stress, because it made fun.

It's not a "medicamention", but, I think you should do some other works, maybe create intentsive sketches for your next comic works, write at the story, then stop it, do an other thing...
Multitasking, get your brain out of the routine.

And if TSH still breaks you out, maybe think about the story, maybe it helps if there is a kind of switching it to an other "side", if the planned story direction doesn't satiesfied you.
Example: put in a side storyline, just for fun, - what about those 3 guys in that flying machine?

Thanks to the Goddess, it was no migraine attack as I supposed.
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby Quaeras » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:23 pm

Jennifer:

You know we all love your comic, but we care about you much more deeply. You bring joy to us over and over again each week.

If you need some time off, take it! I know how it is to feel like you'll never finish something if you take time away from it. You know yourself better than anyone, but with me, I find that given enough time away from something I will become re-invigorated by some small detail or some turn of phrase and regain my inspiration. I feel like that's my battery recharging.

It took me a long time (and a good portion of my relatively short life) to honestly commit to sketching out a plot and hunkering down to write a novel. Now that I've got a sizeable chunk done, I took some time away from it when it felt like too much work to write. As I relax, I notice that I feel more and more compelled to return to the story and bulldoze over the stumbling blocks.

In short: Please, treat yourself better! Maybe about as well as you treat us!

Besides, we love your quickie filler art, and it lets us know you're doing ok even if we take a week away from our favorite artist.

Love,

Q ^v^ W!!
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby OtakuMan » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:50 pm

Just as long as you don't take long sabbaticals and then jump around like Carson Fire. I swear, there are more jumps in the story line than swiss cheese has holes!

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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby dirks » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:23 pm

Quaeras wrote:If you need some time off, take it!

That was my first thought, too. Or even, take a bit longer than you need - because, "forcing" oneself to keep away from a project may recharge one's batteries more than just to the minimum level needed to continue.

After all - this is a webcomic: While You do it, it is (sort of) "life", but some time later nobody can see when you took a break.


Quaeras wrote:In short: Please, treat yourself better! Maybe about as well as you treat us!

Besides, we love your quickie filler art, and it lets us know you're doing ok even if we take a week away from our favorite artist.

Signed!

Oh besides - Sometimes when working on something, intense thinking (as intense as I'm willing to do) just gets me stuck. My thoughts revolve like in a washing machine, just wasting time with no result coming out. Then, sometimes, I get the "best ideas" in the bath tube, when thinking about it is not encouraged, for at least the reason that there is no way to write down anything. :mrgreen:

And - I'm really glad that you did not set a date when TSH is ending. :D
-.-
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby draque » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:29 am

Burnout is something that's kept me from finishing more projects than I like to admit. A story told slowly but carefully is better than one that's on time but rushed.
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby Quaeras » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:47 pm

I agree. Look at Halo 2.
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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

Postby Eep » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:22 pm

Jennifer, please let your inner artist rest for as long as she wants! I have no doubts that the itch to get back to comic-making will return once the artist has recuperated.

Allow me to share with you my favorite mental vacation, in case it helps at all:

Welcome to your perfect little fully-furnished cottage.
There is an ideal white-sand beach just past the furthest palm tree.
The weather is delicious.
You have no commitments, no worries, no obligations, and need do no planning ahead. You can just be.
The ferry to the mainland will be ready for you when you are ready to return to the real world.

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Re: The Spectre Of Burnout

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