Web comic "Surfer Joe"

The Tactics of Laziness (#061)

The Tactics of Laziness

Sometimes there are pages that, for whatever reason, just don’t turn out quite right.

So far there has been at least one in each chapter. Whether it’s a layout issue or a rough day doing pencils or colors, there is usually one area that gets botched and results in the page looking a little off. This wouldn’t be a big problem, except I usually only give myself an 8-10 hour window to produce a page. If something is so off that it would take significant time to fix, it stays in for publishing.

This may sound catastrophic, but I’ve learned to live with the occasional sub-standard output. For me, the alternative is much worse. In order to achieve your goals it takes hard work and discipline, this is common knowledge. But self-awareness is much less talked about, and arguably the most important. 

I believe that all people are inherently lazy. Meaning, they’ll put in the least amount of effort necessary to accomplish a task. And if they can get away with not doing it at all they will. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of productive people out there. But output should not be judged by someone’s laziness but rather a person’s ability to circumvent laziness.

For me, this means having hard deadlines for when pages will be uploaded. It keeps me accountable to myself and those that read Surfer Joe, and is a regular deadline that necessitates routine. It can be hard to keep up with at times, more often than not I’m drawing the page the day before it has to go up. If I’m extremely focused, I can get it done in 6 hours but more often than not it takes closer to 10. 10 hour drawing marathon… 

I do it this way because, without the deadline, I would probably stay in development indefinitely. And while good planning is important, I feel too much emphasis is put on it. The less you know about what you’re doing, the harder planning is. How do you plan for what you don’t know? Don’t plan, just do.

One of the benefits of this method is that it teaches you to trust your instincts more. A lot of small decisions need to be made on the fly during a day of drawing, and I don’t have time to hem and haw over each one of them. Hemming and hawing is my favorite lazy tactic. If I allow myself to I will do it all day and ultimately create nothing. The system I’ve designed for myself’s sole purpose is to defeat this tactic of laziness. I have to choose and move forward. 

All this works together to facilitate my need to make and publish stories for people to read and enjoy. 

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