It all started in March, I found myself in Child Support Court, not because I wasn’t paying it, but because my ex-wife had decided I was not paying enough, thinking for some reason my convention work was some how making money. As I faced a barrage of questions over my finances from her free Attorney I faced a question that really touched me deeper than I thought.
I was asked by the Attorney, who was taking a lot of enjoyment at badgering me,” If you don’t make any money out of your books, why do you do it, what is the point?”
My reply was simple and I actually choked when I said it, “Because it makes a difference to the child who reads my book, and makes me feel… like I matter.” I found myself actually fighting tears at this point, and asked for a recess to regain my composure.
By the end of a long court session, I had managed to convince the Judge that I don’t make any money from my work, but it didn’t stop my Child Support from going up to the point my wife, and I are hanging on by our fingertips. But, vagaries of Child Support Court aside, the Attorney’s question got to me.
The point she was trying to make was I was wasting my time on something that has no material gain, that it was pointless to devote energy to a project that brings nothing of monetary value. It was mocking and the words haunted me, and still do… Creatively I went into a tailspin and my storytelling work this past year has been subpar to say the least. I was battling the Fugg, the Black Dog, an abyss of depression, and I reached the point I was ready to throw it all in.
Then this happened.
I heard from the mother of Nathaniel, and the bittersweetness of the joy my silly Teddy Bear Story had brought their child, this book mocked by an Attorney for not making any money, and therefore not worth any value, had brought value to this family. It make me pause and think… That perhaps I am doing something right. You can read their full story here.
But, I still fought a creative fugg, nothing I was doing was connecting in my head, writing, art, everything felt hollow and pointless. Words are dangerous, and as a writer I should know their power, and I was still tail-spinning because of what this Attorney had said.
I launched a Kickstarter for Awakenings Act Two which as I write this is failing, while the art and story are solid, my pitch wasn’t as clever as others I have made, and because of that it is suffering from the very real possibility of not reaching its funding goal. Because of my fugg, I have done some harm to my story credibility of getting it done and wont be able to give my artists a payday they deserve.
It got worse though I started my inktober journey and unlike the last other events, I had to force myself to draw, to create and my work was suffering because of it. For the first twelve days of this event I can only say my illustrations are below my usually standard, frankly they suck.
Then it finally clicked in my head. My words, my illustrations have helped, have made a difference and that is more important than any biting words from an Attorney. I stopped trying to force my work, and started to let it flow… The result you can see below.
I remembered the joy,.. Peace.