One step leads to another.
Where is he going with this?
I’ve spent a lot of time working on this comic. It stopped being an occupation a very long time ago. Initially, I started the strip to possibly get a syndication deal and make a living. I The goal was to become a syndicated cartoonist. The ONLY thing I’d do is the strip… that would be my job.
That was the plan.
That was the goal.
That was almost 15 years ago.
I recently finished reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams. I wouldn’t say that the text changed my life per se- despite the fact that Astronaut/Artist Capt. Alan Bean sent me his personal copy (!). Capt. Bean said that he got some ideas from it and maybe it could help me. When a Apollo astronaut tells you it could help, you tend to give that “help” some greater scrutiny.
So, yeah. As I said before… the goal was to become a syndicated cartoonist. But Adams contends that by setting a goal for myself, I most likely set myself up for guaranteed failure… because anything achieved short of the goal is technically a failure. Goal setting is for suckers.
Adams believes that people who create SYSTEMS for success are more successful. I cried bullsh-t on that when I read it. But, Alan Bean says it could help… I put the bullsh-t aside and read on. The more I read, the more it kind of made sense. Creating a system of work that builds on work is more realistic. It allows for greater leeway and creates situations that may take you on different, unintended, yet positive paths. The goal I set for myself way back in 2002 was not a way to ensure success. Going by that, I failed out of the gate. Failed for a decade and a half. I’m failing while writing this.
That’s not to say it’s been a waste. It has not by any means. It just means that my goal held me back and focused me so much that I may have missed a ton in the periphery. I don’t know what that periphery was/is. But believe me when I say this: From this point on, I’m looking all around.
It’s not an occupation, it’s my life. It’s not a goal. It’s a system.
Now I just have to figure out how to create a system… other than “looking all around”.