Disclaimer: I don’t have a long commute to my day job, and I work there 40-45 hours a week. I also don’t have children. I typically put in about 30 to 40 hours a week on TJ & Amal; however, TJ&A pages tend to take a lot longer to produce than most comics due to the way they’re put together.
Anyway, I budget my time like so: one weeknight and one weekend morning off per week. Weekday evenings I come home from work, take a few minutes to rest, then eat dinner, walk the dogs, attempt to clean, then work on the comic until about midnight. I also use my lunch breaks during the work week for scripting and thumbnailing.
I require 2 or 3 days’ notice before anything social; if I’m going to skip comic work one evening I need to make up for it in advance on other days.
One thing that’s really helped is this: I have a little kitchen timer that stays on my drafting table — I set it for 25 or 30 minutes, then when it goes off I take a short break to stretch, do sit-ups, get water, step outside, go to the bathroom, whatever. Then come back and set it for another 25-30 minutes. This keeps me from zoning out in the first 6-8 hours of studio work. (Around hour 9, though, it’s kind of a lost cause.)
Anyway, while this regimen has proven effective in getting the comic done, I can’t say whether I’d recommend it to others. I’ve got back and sciatic nerve trouble, plus memory problems due to prolonged sleep deprivation. I’ve gained weight and gotten out of shape, especially over the past 3 months while I try to get the book to press in time. My marriage has been strained at times. My house and garden are a dirty mess. I’ve been a bad friend and disappointing family member.
I guess the next few months will show if it was all worth it.
Read more than you write. In expressing the ambition to be a writer, you are committing yourself to the community of other writers. Your originality will mean nothing unless you can understand the originality of others. What we call originality is little more than the fine blending of influences.
Be ruthless in your use of what you’ve seen and what you’ve experienced. Add your imagination, so that where invention ends and reality begins is undetectable.
Be courageous. Nothing human should be far from you.
Huh! Interesting, thanks for the rec :)