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JamieRoberts
12-07-2009, 04:56 PM
How happy are you with your work ethic?

I tend to compare myself to others and I'm usually disappointed with how my motivation seems to yo-yo more than most. Still, comparing is sometimes a demotivator in itself.

I've turned a corner, and in my case, the biggest stumbling blocks were my lack of faith in my skills, and previous projects going south after a lot of effort. I think I'm over all of that now, so I thought I'd throw this topic out there.

BoneMachine
12-07-2009, 05:09 PM
I possess a god-awful work ethic. I blame the partially the internet but mostly my own crippling laziness. Also lose interest in a script that I start. Have to get back on the game and start plotting stories instead of just writing script and hoping it leads somewhere

John Lees
12-07-2009, 05:32 PM
As a writer, the big thing I just can't get on top of - my repeated attempts at it have fallen apart before long - is keeping a schedule, consistently writing stuff every day. This issue with motivation, or lack thereof, is my critical weakness as a writer.

I think part of the problem is I overthink things. It's very hard for me to open up a Word document and just start writing out the ideas that pop into my head. An idea pops up, and I have to sit and think about it, I wonder where I could go with the idea, I immediately try and fill it out into something substantial. And if the idea doesn't hold up to that, I lose confidence in it and it tends to fall apart before I so much as type a word. And even with the ideas that come to something, I often find writing comes slowly, as I spend ages agonising over the right word placement, character names, things like that. In a pitch I wrote a while back, I literally spent a whole day, from 10am to after midnight, trying to come up with a catchy opening line, having written everything else pretty quickly earlier that morning. And my editor STILL hated the crappy thing I eventually slapped on top of it! :confused:

"An Inconvenient Tooth", a script I submitted to The Proving Grounds (Steve Forbes' column on Project Fanboy) back in October, was a deliberate exercise on my part to try and overcome this overthinking habit. I got a weird, random idea for a story one night while walking the dog, and the more I thought about it, the more those doubts of "Nah, this is silly, I can't build a story from this" came creeping into my mind. But as soon as I got home, I started writing. No notes page planning out plot and characters and structure like I usually do with stories - I didn't want the idea to stagnate. I immediately started writing the script, with some vague beats in mind but mostly making it up as I went along. And over a few days of frenzied writing, I hammered the whole 22-page script out. The end product was nothing spectacular, but I am nevertheless proud of it because it is an example of me just thinking of something and writing it, rather than dwelling on it and procrastinating.

I think another invaluable exercise was taking part in Tyler James' 30 Characters Challenge last month, where I had to create a character, write up a profile for them and (though I'm no artist) draw a picture of them every day throughout the month of November. That forced me to take various half-formed ideas floating around in my head and turn them into something concrete and palpable, and by taking part I've found I now have the basis for about 11 stories which I now want to try writing scripts for.

It's a struggle to keep writing all the time, but I think it's an important thing for writers to do, and something I want to try to be better at. I remember reading one concise piece of advice on the subject of writing that has since stuck with me: "The more you don't, the more you won't."

Aaron Walther
12-07-2009, 07:24 PM
Like a lot of people(I think), I'm disappointed in my work ethic. I've really fallen off the wagon the last few months. This time, the reason was that I had to unexpectedly and suddenly move, which resulted a couple of extremely stressful weeks. But the thing is, there's always going to be reasons to not work. Stuff is always happening and it does no good to find excuses not to work, because you always will find them.

One thing that a friend and I do, is have writing sessions. I think it's good for writers to get out and write in groups. Aside from having people to bounce ideas off of and gain advice from, being around other people who are working really motivates you to keep working. Friendly competition will do wonders for your work ethic.

dmh_3000
12-07-2009, 07:58 PM
Hmm, a lot of people seem unhappy. With writing, I think I'm okay, since I always manage to get the scripts done before the artist runs out of pages. Sure, sometimes I do it last minute (Okay, almost all the time) but I'm never late, so I guess that's got to count for something.

With my colouring, sometimes I get a little sloppy. It only takes me a couple of hours to do a page, but that's usually only if I like the page. A couple of months ago, I was colouring and lettering a book, one of my first jobs to get published. The writing was dull and the artwork was off putting, so I started to procrastinate near the end, while cutting corners that I never used to. I probably ended up taking a month longer than I would have for any other book. I mean, I was busy around that time, but I did have a lot of spare moments I could have used getting the job done.

albone
12-09-2009, 11:46 AM
Normally, my work ethic sucks and with many things it does. With my webcomic though, I haven't missed an update in over 300 pages and counting. The last time that I didn't draw was the end of the third week of January of 2008, where I was in Vegas on vacation.

JamieRoberts
12-09-2009, 12:11 PM
Normally, my work ethic sucks and with many things it does. With my webcomic though, I haven't missed an update in over 300 pages and counting. The last time that I didn't draw was the end of the third week of January of 2008, where I was in Vegas on vacation.
That's great! Well done, you.

arseneau77
12-09-2009, 12:28 PM
I used to struggle with keeping a consistent writing schedule, but then I realized that it was the constraints of saying to myself "you must write at this time every day" that was the root of the problem. Once I stopped trying to force myself into a particular 'writing time', it became second nature to write every day. Sometimes it's in the morning, sometimes at night, but if I average it out, I'm definitely working on SOMEthing every day.

That said, I'm very fortunate to have a job that allows me a great deal of flexibility in when I can work on my own stuff so my method may not work for most people.

TheLaughingMan9
12-09-2009, 12:34 PM
I think mine's pretty terrible as well. I always wish I could draw more but I do have college drawing classes and I've been messing around for months getting the hang of tablet drawing.

Eliseu Gouveia
12-09-2009, 01:03 PM
My work is my life, so ive never had work ethic issues.
Its efficiency that bothers me.

Back in the day (about a year ago), i could pump out 12 pencilled pages or 5 inked pages a day at maximum speed.
Now, Im lucky if I can acchieve half of that.
My time is CLUTTERED with multiple obstacles that prevent me from acchieving nominal production speed: solicitations, distractions...

A while ago, I could go into The Zone "like THAT!", just put on some Jamiroquai, tune the outside world out and va-voom!

Now, Im thinking about money, daydreaming about Ritas hipnotic eyes, wondering what radio station Im gonna tune next, have I paid my rent this month, do I really need to go to Lisbon this week, maybe I should trim my fingernails.... so much noise!

dwrite
12-09-2009, 01:04 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have much choice when it comes to work ethic. I support my family by writing, so I have to write as much as I can every day. With today's changing publishing world -- many of my print-magazine clients have gone out of business or are no longer hiring freelancers -- I've had to write more content stories for the Internet. These don't pay nearly as much, so I have to write more and more every day. It's a real drag, and by the end of the day I'm pretty wiped out. The comic-book writing that I do -- I try to do script writing at least three days a week -- pretty much keeps me sane these days.

Dan

L Jamal
12-09-2009, 02:50 PM
I'm very deadline oriented, so I give myself deadlines.
I use Google Tasks and Google Calendar and get a daily list of the stuff I need to complete for that day. Everything that is to get done gets a task and a deadline.

I'm usually amazed by what I got done because I feel liike I'm not doing much.

Allegory Comics
12-09-2009, 03:15 PM
I move very quickly and get things done when I'm being paid to do a job. I have never missed a deadline in my life. But when I'm not working for pay -- when I'm just working on a personal project or something for fun -- I have terrible work habits.

I think it's because I used to spend so much time working on unpaid projects and developing pitches and nothing ever happened with them. They were never picked up and I was never paid, and I burned myself out creatively, emotionally and even physically.

So now I just don't have the energy to work on my own things, and that's holding me back BIG TIME! A lot of my lethargy, though, relates to other problems in life. I need to find my spark again.

Fred Duran
12-09-2009, 03:17 PM
I don't really like my work ethic that much. I feel like I'm still learning a lot about what I can do with my time as a writer (i.e. how long it takes me to write a page of script, edit it, etc.) so sometimes I find myself thinking "this will be done by this time" and I'm way off. But I feel that I do some of my best work under pressure, whether it be comics or schoolwork (tsk tsk, I know). When I know that it's getting close to the eleventh hour, I tend to step it up and get stuff done. I know that's a terrible way to go about it (hence the fact that I hate my work ethic), but that's how it is currently. I'm trying to fix it.

JamieRoberts
12-09-2009, 04:17 PM
I'm very deadline oriented, so I give myself deadlines.
I use Google Tasks and Google Calendar and get a daily list of the stuff I need to complete for that day. Everything that is to get done gets a task and a deadline.

I'm usually amazed by what I got done because I feel liike I'm not doing much.
I might try that. Then again, if I go for a few days without turning on my laptop, it's not gonna work. Worth a try, though.

NaveenM
12-09-2009, 05:11 PM
Back in the day (about a year ago), i could pump out 12 pencilled pages or 5 inked pages a day at maximum speed.


Did I read this right? 12 penciled pages in a day?!

Paul Sanderson
12-09-2009, 05:26 PM
I have no deadlines when I write. I write when I want, how I want. And when the work is finished, it's published, whenever that is. I'm lucky to have that freedom.

Eliseu Gouveia
12-09-2009, 05:51 PM
Did I read this right? 12 penciled pages in a day?!

Yeah, I do my pencils in A4 sheets (regular machine type paper), so 12 pages is a cakewalk.

Or used to be... :blink:

Plus I do my own inks (http://www.etherlair.com/images/Zeu/tutorial1/a4.jpg), so I can relax on the pencils (http://www.etherlair.com/images/Zeu/tutorial1/a2.jpg).

macclint
12-09-2009, 07:01 PM
Plus I do my own inks, so I can relax on the pencils.

Very nice! Very clean.

I've been thinking about trying a smaller format just to see if I could make it work.

WCG Comics
12-09-2009, 07:05 PM
Within the limited time I have (my comics are not my primary source of income), my work ethic is okay. The trick is to have a routine. I have a full time 8 to 5, and now a family with 2 kids, so I try to be at the drawing board by around 9:30 pm working to anywhere from 11:30 pm to 1 am (or more, esp. on weekends). On the weekends, I can get in more quality time, and I occasionally take days off from my "real" job to focus on my comics.

The routine is so ingrained that I get antsy when I'm away from the drawing board too long!

I sometimes fall off the wagon when I'm between stories, and haven't a script ready to go when I have completed an issue. Flailing around trying to complete a script sometimes can set me back a bit before I get back in the groove. I'm actually between stories right now!!

Eliseu Gouveia
12-09-2009, 08:08 PM
Very nice! Very clean.

I've been thinking about trying a smaller format just to see if I could make it work.


Working on a smaller format saves an insane amount of time and you get a better grasp of how the page will look in its final form.
I like to draw in big formats, but when its scaled down to print size, it never quite looks like what I had in mind.


Only downfall is that the pencils arent as detailed as youd want but you can correct that at the ink stage, after youve magnified the page via Photoshop.

The Anti-crest
12-09-2009, 09:20 PM
I have no deadlines when I write. I write when I want, how I want. And when the work is finished, it's published, whenever that is. I'm lucky to have that freedom.

if i had that freedom I would never do anything...

Paul Sanderson
12-09-2009, 09:46 PM
We are all responsible for what we do ourselves. If you have the time, use it productively. I've written three novels (currently working on the fourth), some short stories, several comic books and am planning more of the same all with the freedom to do it. Self discipline is key.

lebeau35
12-10-2009, 10:54 AM
My work ethic has come under fire lately due to the birth of my daugther, Leiyla. However, she is now sleeping most of the night, so I am able to work for about a good 6 hours before she needs a changing or feeding. I usually plan my nights of what I need to ink based on assignment or priority: if it is for a title and I have a generous deadline or the pencils are not too detailed, then I alternate a bit. If the pencils are more detailed, then I fire up the Starbucks, sit my ass down to some good Boney James, and commence 2 work. :D

But moreso than that, I always try 2 keep something I overheard in mind: anytime I consider slacking off of the art table, I just remember that when I am relaxing, someone ELSE is working and getting BETTER.

;)

bholliday
12-10-2009, 11:34 AM
Id think my work ethic is pretty good, but I put that down to the harshness of my university course. The ripped you a new one if you were an hour late for the deadline of an illustration project. I never plan on being late for a deadline or missing an oppurtunity unless a freak of nature incident happens.

Ive been working hard on the DW presents story since getting layed off from my job, and then I got contacted by a friend putting together an exhibition asking if I wanted to take part. The exposure was too good to miss so Ive sacrficed three nights sleep in order to get the work done. Extra exposure + my deadlines being hit = pure win!

Saying that, Ive got loads of things on the backburner Id LOVE to eventually get round to. Im only 19 so ive got plenty of time to do my fully oil painted GN eventually right ? :P

The Anti-crest
12-10-2009, 03:16 PM
We are all responsible for what we do ourselves. If you have the time, use it productively. I've written three novels (currently working on the fourth), some short stories, several comic books and am planning more of the same all with the freedom to do it. Self discipline is key.

I work better when I don't have enough time.

Justice41
12-10-2009, 03:23 PM
I work better when I don't have enough time.
There's never enough time or there wouldn't be days, just a day. A very long unending day...... :laugh:

Dan Hill
12-11-2009, 03:20 AM
I've gotten myself to a point now where if I take the "night off" I feel like sh*t. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing :laugh:

I sound like a broken record at this point, but I can't recommend the following book enough:

War of Art (http://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/0446691437)

UniverseX259
12-11-2009, 10:21 AM
For me my biggest obstacle is my day job. I work full time, and on top of that I have about a 2 hour commute ONE WAY, so I'm not home at my drawing table as much as I'd like to be. But I'm constantly thinking about drawing when I'm not at my drawing board, and when I am home I try and work as much as I can.

I've begun to do penciling on a portable drawing board as opposed to my desk so I can take my art with me around the house rather than take myself to the art. That way I can always have the page on-hand in case I want to sit by the TV or computer or just get away from the drawing table. By doing this I'm able to pencil a lot more in a night, and depending on how loose I pencil I could do about 3/4 of a page in a night.

I'm working on a 24-page comic which doesn't have a deadline per se, but I'm working as much as I can on it to make sure it gets out as soon as possible. In addition to myself and the writer there's also a colorist and a letterer sitting around while I do the pencils and inks, so the more I work on the book the sooner they can get the pages to put their magic in it.

Stryves
12-11-2009, 02:19 PM
I can relate to Eliseu Gouveia very closely. Everything he said in his first post is bang on for me.

I could do a fully colored page(pencils, inking and colors) from scratch in 30-45 minutes.

Now, I'm outsourcing pencils because I've become too distracted to get focused. I can watch TV from the web, that's horrible!

Plus between spending time with the GF, family, holidays, travelling for work... It's hard to find that "Zone".

WCG Comics
12-11-2009, 07:02 PM
I work better when I don't have enough time.

Yeah, some people work better under pressure. I remember hearing stories of classic comic strip artists taking a few days to goof off then producing all their stuff right up to deadline at the very end.

Of course, all that matters is that you hit the deadline! The editors (and readers) don't otherwise care how it was produced.

Paul Sanderson
12-11-2009, 10:17 PM
I work well under pressure too. If I'm working for someone other than myself, then naturally there are deadlines that I must meet and I do. But for my own material, I work to my own pace and am happy and productive in doing so.

Newt
12-11-2009, 11:17 PM
My work ethic was drowned as a kitten. :(

Sleepbringer
12-12-2009, 05:16 AM
I have started a company with a friend of mine who i met here on DW, called Earthbound Comics (earthboundcomics.com). We are working on our 8th book. We make our own deadlines, and believe me we give ourselves plenty of time. Some of our books are anthologies, so we each have an obligation of 6 or 8 pages to complete for a particular issue. If I go 2 days without sitting down to work on a page its not a big deal. Luckily, even though i have 3 kids and a day job doing electrical work, i still am able to get a panel or two done when ever i do sit down. Do that a few times a week and a story can be done in a reasonable amount of time. Life's busy. We can't expect ourselves to sit and work on comics every day, but we do have to make it a habit, or we'll never accomplish what we'd like to.

I like threads like this.

dannycruz
12-12-2009, 08:40 AM
Heh, I do game art all day long...like 16 hour days and I still feel like my work ethic could be better.

Eric Rabbitsmasher
12-12-2009, 12:13 PM
Damn you draw some nice noses, Eliseu.

I'm happy with my work ethic, I'm juggling a lot - I could devote myself to it more, but it's coming along. I took a low pressure approach to it though, I realized early on it was going to be hard to support myself with it, even if I was halfway good at it - you have very little control over the marketing side of this business, and the industry is full of idiots - Ed is an exception, he keeps plugging away at it, and while he doesnt make a huge splash, his successes are steadily piling up.

Instead I have an enjoyable hobby that takes up all my free time and then some, lol.

Eric Rabbitsmasher
12-12-2009, 12:14 PM
Heh, I do game art all day long...like 16 hour days and I still feel like my work ethic could be better.You remind me of Nar.

It's a good thing!