Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holding Pattern

Commissions have officially taken over! Looming in unforeseen quantities, I now officially have my hands full. It’s loads of fun, though - every idea is different, every character unique to it’s owner. It’s really exciting being able to participate in the creativity flowing out from the readers. And financially, this is helping grow the funds that I’ll need to print off Volume 3.

Ah yes, Volume 3... As engaging as commissions are, I do need to see a light at the end of the tunnel here. As such, I had to announce a close date for new commission orders, right at the end of MFF this November. Thereafter my goal will be to complete and fulfill all commissions by Christmas, leaving 2009 clear and free for total focus on Volume 3 production! 8 )

Contributing to my decision for a close-date, deadlines in October slowed my pace on commissions considerably.
I had a presentation at a local high school here in Columbus, which turned out to be a blast! It was held after hours in the school library, and I got to give a speech about my career path, and college, and life lessons which school fails to cover. I managed to make the speech entertaining with stories and some video - segments, and talking with high-schoolers was fun. It’s odd realizing how far out from high school I am, it seems not so long ago that I was walking the halls with a bulging backpack and a briefcase full of drawings…

Preparing for the presentation took some time, especially as the date drew near. Immediately afterwards, I had to get moving on the Halloween Fanart Contest. Entries were coming in, and I wanted to display the results on a new gallery page, in keeping with the revised web design. Putting that together proved to be challenging, and I was actually de-bugging bits of it even after I threw it up for the midnight showtime.
Whew! It was good to get done, but also frustrating that I had such a standstill on commission work - while new ones were still adding themselves to the stack.

It can be vexing sometimes, having productivity delayed - even when it’s only so I can advance on other fronts. I just have so much I want to accomplish, and production capacity is the sole resource available to me. The only hope I have for attaining my goals is the ability to work hard for them.
That’s why sometimes I can be very jealous of nullifying demands on my time… I’m not talking about commissions here- those are fun & they help with printing costs, they contribute. I’m talking about my work work..
I think I’ve mentioned it before, but many people might not be aware that I actually work a full time job for a living. All money from Dreamkeepers - book sales, convention sales, commission purchases - everything goes straight back into printing costs, and company savings. It supports itself, but not me.

I work every night at as a security guard to pay my bills. Living nocturnally was a surprisingly easy transition after my experience with late - night college work sessions. Patrolling the building site for leaks or fires every few hours isn’t exactly the most demanding job in the world, so I have healthy spots of time where I can get some artwork or writing done. But I could accomplish much more, with greater efficiency if I had all of my time available. I only get one life - it gets closer to the end, day by day, and having it less than optimal is an irritance.
Of course, I have plans in place to support myself with Vivid Publishing and Dreamkeepers… But, realistically, the company cannot make enough profit to support me. Not until it has enough cash to print off a huge quantity of books all at once. (I can only afford to print books in small, expensive batches currently.) Without the price advantage of greater quantity, distributors and stores can’t carry my books, and I’m limited solely to what I can sell in person, or from my website. There’s a tiny bit of profit with each book sale, but building up a real company this way is like trying to build a house one toothpick at a time.

It’s not something that I should be dwelling on, but it’s so excruciating; Needing such a relatively small sum to start things rolling, and feeling the need to cherish and deliberate upon the use of every company dollar. Especially as the Congressional powers-that-be lavish billions in reward for gluttonous, responsibility-decrying failure. What I have been working and striving for through the years is, to them, nothing but a pathetic pittance. It’s like dying of thirst for want of a drop, while above the glass ceiling they’re shitting in the pool. (Isn’t that analogy palatable, yet apt? I thought of it myself!)

If anything, such frustration is useful in cementing my resolve to never quit, to work harder and be better, to earn what I want, regardless of obstacles and difficulties. Relentlessness is a highly undervalued trait.