Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Going to Bed on Time

Another not-really-proper post. I was thinking of writing something more focused but I've been up 'til about 1am every night the last couple of days trying to finish this bloody Best of Rapid Fire comic off in InDesign, and getting the layout wrong again and again. As a result I'm knackered (I don't do late nights well, I am severely non-hardcore on that front). So yeah - in not giving up on getting this comic printed in time for Kapow! in a week and a half I am failing to sleep properly, failing to spend time with my partner and, to be brutally honest about it, failing to be able to do my actual paid job properly.

The temptation to stop has been there as well - in the end we'll probably manage to sell all the comics, but we'll not make any profit - except that I would essentially invalidate all of my previous hours of work and at this point I am fundamentally not willing to do that. I mean that it is hardwired into the kind of person who I am and who I perceive myself to be, and into the assumptions that I have about what is correct and worthwhile behaviour. It's partly why I suppose I ended up writing this blog - because I have such a strong feeling that completion is a goal that outranks other goals, such as, you know, happiness and stuff.

(Although, in this worldview, to be happy is to be complete, or rather to be complete is to be happy, or something. Of course, there are other senses of the word failure which aren't quite antonyms with completion/success, and it is all of these versions which fuel my depression, with each one coming to the fore depending on what is required at any given moment; so even active decisions can become failures of judgement and unworthy responses become failures of restraint. But I digress.)

The fact that I could have spent the time reading or playing computer games but chose not to makes it a much harder thing to give up on than, for instance, an equivalently large amount of writing that I did because I really felt like writing at the time. I can't imagine that anyone would play around with a piece of publishing software because they actually genuinely enjoy it - they are too aggressively functional, without offering the tactile reward of mechanical work or even the signified rewards of the most mechanistic iterations of CRPG 'gameplay'. They are limiting too - in the sense that they are designed to tie already created work down and bind it into an existing formal structure, unlike even the most basic of 'creative' programmes - Notepad and Paint for Windows users - which give you a set of tools and let you get on with it. Essentially, you can quite productively and happily take either of those as your starting point and have fun. That's sort of what I'm doing here writing this entry in WordPad.

(As an aside, you might enjoy the job you have to do with publishing software, I agree - I enjoy the job which I do using accounting software, and indeed in a general sense enjoy editing comics when I do so - it is specifically the function of the software I am talking about here. For the record, I don't enjoy playing around with accounting software either.)

Also, there is a guaranteed market for this comic, however small, and a fixed end-product that you can present to that market, which is the kind of reward feedback that you, or rather more specifically I don't get writing stories on spec for submission to publishers, or even for self publication. Anyway, it'll be over soon, and then I can get some sleep and ruminate further on all the things I haven't done.

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