I almost lost my job recently. I would have actually been fine with losing it, actually, but my workplace literally shuts down when I’m not there. That’s not important, though. The important thing is that it made me realize what I want to do with my life. And that is to turn the characters in my head into something I can live off of.
The only thing I ever seriously pictured myself as doing in the future was being a webcomic artist. My original plan was to publish my stuff in twenty to forty page chapters, mimicking the Japanese comics that first inspired me. I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to be able to keep up that schedule on my own, and not while I’m working another job, but I still want to publish my drawings to accompany the words.
If I want to make money off of my work, I need a value proposition. What can I give people that they can’t get anywhere else? Why would they want to read my story, much less pay for it? If I was going to an investor, and making a formal request, I would right something like, “Occulted is a story about how people are defined, by others and themselves, and the struggle to be allowed to live your own life, as examined through a category of people that doesn’t exist in real life.” That’s a bit long, but it works for the start of paper, while something to get people to bother reading the paper would be something like, “Monster high-school students (many of them girls) get into fights.”
Unfortunately, neither my prose or my drawings are particularly good. For my drawings, I need to work on drawing my hands and feet, to make sure they’re the right size for the rest of the body, and to buckle down and actually draw the backgrounds. For my prose, I need to plan things out more, to consider how the world, the story, and the characters all fit together. Drawing up a schedule of days (like, what days each chapter takes place on) might help.
Speaking of schedules, I need to find time to do all of this stuff. Scratch that, I need to make time. I need to stop procrastinating and do work. I have most of my weekends open, I just need a way to figure out how to keep myself on task during them.
Write, draw, write, draw, lunch, write, draw, write, draw. This could form the basic pattern of my day, each ‘write’ and ‘draw’ consisting of fifty minutes of the activity, with ten minute breaks between to stretch my legs. I’ve kind of done this before, with a previous iteration of Occulted. That was when I was unemployed, however, and if I do something like that, that means I’ll have to do it while also doing laundry. But at least it’s a plan.
I also need to increase my exposure. The easiest way to do that would be to upgrade my WordPress account, which would also have a bunch of other benefits. My website could do with a sprucing up. I’m thinking of adding a header image, drawn by myself. Actually, I think I want everything on this website to be done by myself.
I want to buy art supplies. So far, I’ve been drawing in pencil (colored and grey) and ballpoint pen, because they were available and cheap. I’m thinking of taking up brush ink, both black and colored. I also need paper heavy enough to hold that, and a scanner to get my drawings into the computer. I also need a filing cabinet, both to put the scanner on top of, and to put the drawings in.
I also need to get a Patreon account and a Paypal account. There are some donations I’ve been meaning to make now that I have money, anyway. I’m not sure what I would give the people that donate, though. The most obvious thing is early access to chapters and pictures, which means I need to build up a buffer, but I need to do that anyway. I could also give access to special drawings that I wouldn’t post on my main site. My poetry’s getting a pretty good response most weeks, maybe I could take commissions. I could ask for a mood and a subject.
But beyond that, I have no idea where to advertise, and I don’t want to post things all over the internet, instead of just here. And then there’s my problems with the largest sites for increasing my exposure. Twitter seems like it would be a pain to keep up with, and Facebook wants to have the entire life of its user on it, which is something I very much don’t want.
I’m not going to stay at my current job after September, so that’s how long I have to get this all running. I have a deadline and a plan. Do you have any questions or suggestions?