After a couple of miserable posts trying to express some of my frustration and trying to figure out what I want from being 'creative' (quotation marks hopefully stopping me sounding pretentious but probably exaggerating it) I think I'm getting somewhere.
Danny provided the breakthrough; I need to be self-indulgent. The worry hampering my work comes from the responsibilities I'm placing on it - it has to be good, it has to be published, it has to save me from what I hate about my life. That's no way to produce decent work, it's also not a very good environment to have fun writing and drawing and more than anything else I want my words and pictures to be about fun. Being a naturally negative grumpy bloke is one thing, but that's never been my intention and not something I want to be remembered for. It doesn't mean that I want my work to be devoid of depth or to not tackle difficult subjects but (and I've mentioned this before on this blog) as much as I'm easily impressed by works which are a bit grim and dark, when I see something that manages to express truth and/or beauty in a positive way, something which embraces the joy of life I end up grinning like an idiot puppy.
Self-indulgence can be a risky thing, it allows people to create stuff that is utterly inaccessible to anyone but themselves, but in this instance it means just doing something for yourself and enjoying it. At least that's what its means to me and I'll just have to rely on my natural commercial instincts (the ones that make me get annoyed at films that run over an hour and a half to two hours, that wonder why an editor didn't do anything with an authors book, etc) to keep me on the right track.
So Simian is not going to be done next month, it’ll be done when it’s done. Simian Smith suffers ups and downs along with my moods of late, and as such I've recently become unhappy with the story and stuck as to where it's going and what's meant to happen next. Last night I realised what was wrong with it but don't know exactly how to correct it. Making myself write 1000 words a week is helpful in making me concentrate regularly but it’s sapping the fun in the process making it harder, more stressful and making me less inclined to bother. Philip Pullman may be able to write a certain amount daily but I think he's far more an accomplished writer than I am.
Work will continue on Simian, as it will on the various picture books and pictures I'd like to do, this isn’t an excuse to do less, I still intend to get a decent amount done on a regular basis, it’ll just continue in a more easy going less stressful manner.