The longer it is, the more terrifying it gets.
When you have to do a little homework for next school day, it’s okay. And, um…sometimes you forget about it and do it in the bus, five minutes before the class starts. Or even one minute. Or you don’t even do it, and…with a slight hope, the teacher doesn’t take correct the papers.
But the chore is done. You soon move on to other stuff. And life goes on.
What if you had to make a presentation for next week?
A group work for next month?
A real big university project for next year?
That’s not a big deal. If you appreciate your work, it’s pretty awesome. And you know that you’ll move on to something else, have many more experiences and all. Okay, but that’s not it:
What if you had to work on a SINGLE project during the next 10 years, or the next 30 years (actually you don’t even know when it’s gonna be finished)?
If you had to, what would you choose to do?
We might want to create a new project but we’re scared because the amount of time is limitless. It’s difficult to put a deadline…
If we take the example of comic books, many artists’ statements are quite dark.
Really? But I thought comic writers loved writing comics!!! Yes, but many comic projects can endure during a lifetime. Hergé, who is mostly recognised for Tintin, said he became tired of making the same gag for the tenth time. Chris Ware warns us that you need to put all of your time into comics, and that in the next 10 or 20 years, you see people marrying and having kids and stuff, while you’re still working on your passion (I read that in Scott McCloud‘s book How to Make Comics).
Here’s a quote from Charles Schulz, the creator of Snoopy:
Cartooning will destroy you; it will break your heart.
Spending time on a long project also means abandoning other moments.
It’s almost like giving it an engagement ring!
So let’s return to the previous question: If you had a single project, what would you choose to do? In which area would you dedicate yourself?
The answers can vary depending on what you want, but I think there should be one common aspect:
Something that has a huge purpose in you. Your big project might be something personal. Or it might derive from your immense curiosity. It’s the top priority on your “things to do before i die” list.