Independent comic books are more popular than ever. If you ever get a chance check out Facebook, or Twitter, or journey to a comic book con and I daresay you’ll find more choices than you would have imagined. Making the convention rounds is creator Todd Black, a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, who is the writer of Guardians a highly entertaining superhero series and this week’s guest blogger here on Stormgate Press. He's a great guy full of energy and a damn good writer too. Take it away Todd...
When it comes to writing, you're going to hear a lot of different opinions about both how to go about it, how to format it, and what to do when you're "done", but one question I get asked a lot is, "How do you keep writing when your heart is not in it?" It's a hard question, because everyone is different. And I know how much life can bring you down when you're not expecting it. So how can you write when you feel like crap?
Personally? I feel that if you don't think you're up to it, don't write. I believe in mental health making good stories. However, if you FEEL you need to write, then do this: 1. Get everything done for the day, don't think about the writing. 2. Set a time at night, close to when you want to get ready for bed. 3. Tell yourself how long you want to write for, I suggest at least 30 minutes. 4. Write.
I know it may sound simple, but the fact is, if you're focused, you can get a LOT of writing done in 30 minutes. Plus, since you're doing it at the end of the day, you won't have to worry as much about your writing "interfering" with your daily things. Setting a time will also give you the chance to clear your mind before getting your "writing zone".
And the best part? While it's great to set yourself a "time limit", if you start to feel the flow, you can go beyond it. Case and point, I'm writing the fourth book in my Sherlock Holmes novel series, and I did a 30-minute writing period to try and get some work done on the final chapter. But as I started to write, I found myself wanting to see what would come next. By the time the feeling was gone, the chapter was done, and the book was "finished". So now, when I return to it, I'll be working on edits and revisions.
You've likely heard people say that you should "write every day!" And I'll admit, when you're riding high, you probably should so you can capitalize on what's going on. But I know that life can suck, you can get a low blow out of nowhere and feel demoralized. So when that happens, and you feel like you still want to write, just set out a little time, get everything else done, and write during that period. The rest will take care of itself.