Is this all taking too darn long?
It can feel like that some times.
Hell, it can feel like that all the freaking time.
As creators, ideas often come to us in an instant.
One moment, we’re minding our own business going about our day, and than BANG!
A flash of inspiration.
A brilliant idea.
Something we MUST create.
The spark of an idea takes no time at all.
Hell, I can remember when that flash of inspiration hit me a decade ago for THE RED TEN.
I was complaining to a fellow comic fan about the overuse of killing off of beloved characters for short term sales boosts, when I made the off-handed comment, “Maybe it should be Big Two corporate policy going forward that someone must die in every issue!”
And then it hit me…
Wait a minute.
What if that was a part of the hook?
How would I do a series like that… and make it fun?
Like I said… one second THE RED TEN didn’t exist.
The next it did.
Well, the idea for it at least.
As you probably know fully well by now, a great idea for a series is both everything…
…and nothing at all.
Independent creators will have a hard time selling ideas alone… because there are no shortage of those in the world.
What there IS a shortage of is a fully realized execution of a great idea.
Because doing that
(Probably a good thing, too… because a project that daunting might have scared us away!)
When we started working on the series, ComixTribe was also just an idea, but not a fully realized graphic novel publisher with worldwide distribution and hundreds of thousands of copies of books in print as it is today.
Kickstarter was also just an idea, and not a platform that is closing in on raising over $100 million dollars for independent comic projects as it is today.
None of these ideas are executed over night.
And none of these ideas are executed without dedication and commitment to building them one tiny step at a time.
THE RED TEN series took a lot longer to complete than I would have liked.
If we’re being honest, I carry a little bit of embarrassment about that.
Growing up as a passionate comic fan, there was nothing tougher for me than the long wait for those early Image books that came out on an erratic schedule…
Every trip to the comic shop had me asking the annoyed clerk:
“Is it out yet? Is it out yet? Is it out yet?”
And yet, as a creator, I soon discovered that it can take a lot longer to produce a comic series than you initially imagine… especially if it’s not the only or even the main thing you’re working on.
THE RED TEN was a project that definitely took longer than I wanted it to.
But now that the series is 100% complete and we’re collecting the final volume into a stunning graphic novel that I’m hoping to get into backers hands before the year is out, I’ve decided to do something I don’t do enough of…
I’m going to give myself a break.
After all, I had never produced a ten-issue maxi-series before this book… so I had no idea how long it was going to take!
Why keep punishing myself for that?
Instead of holding onto the guilt around how long it took vs how long it would have taken in some perfect world, I’m simply going to be grateful for the long, eventful journey of creating this book with my friends and for all the fans we’ve been able to share it with.
Grateful for the awesome creative partnership with Cesar who breathed life and passion into every page.
Grateful for all the brilliant edits from Steve Forbes that helped make me a better writer.
Grateful for the additional insight and careful catches from editors Steve Colle and Sam LeBas.
Grateful for all the stunning covers from CP Wilson, III.
Grateful for the brilliant colors from Gus Ucha, who hit every deadline and made the book shine.
And grateful for every fan who took a little time to hear what THE RED TEN series was about at conventions, store signings and online over the years… and especially those who took a chance on it and bought an issue to help us fund this series.
Finally, I’m grateful that the experience of creating this book has lead to so many lessons that I’ve been able to share with other aspiring comic creators who I’ve been able to advise, coach and connect with over the years.
But perhaps no lesson is greater than this one…
Give yourself a break!
Creative projects, especially those at a scope and scale you’ve never attempted before, take time.
Usually more time than you expect.
Often ten times as long as you think it will when you start it.
And so, if there’s a project you’re working on that’s taking longer than you’d like, I want to invite you to accept it and release any guilt you might have around that reality.
And instead, open yourself up to some new possibilities…
What if your project actually is NOT taking longer than it should be?
What if it’s taking EXACTLY as long as it needs to be to teach you all the valuable lessons you need to learn from it?
Whether that’s true or not… I don’t know.
But I do know that holding on to guilt or beating yourself up about not being where you think you should be isn’t going to get it done any faster.
So, let it go.
As long as you’re committed to seeing it through, in the grand scheme of things, the exact amount of time it took won’t matter.
But you know what will matter?
The people you’ve met along the way.
And the person you’ve become through the process.
P.S. If you’ve been getting value from the ComixLaunch Podcast or the resources we put out for creators, but have just realized you’ve never actually read a Tyler James book… I would love to invite you participate in THE RED TEN Vol 1-2 Kickstarter launch.