Even if you’ve meticulously planned out several future webcomic updates and are feeling inspired by your webcomic, you can sometimes still occasionally suffer from moments of low enthusiasm/low motivation whilst making your webcomic.
This can be caused by all sorts of things – from your mood at the time, to the weather (eg: hot weather often does this to me). But, there are ways to deal with it and still produce webcomic updates – albeit at a slightly lower level of quality.
So, how do you deal with it? Here are a few tips:
1) Take a short break if you need to, but don’t fall behind schedule: As counter-intuitive as it sounds, you still need to keep up with your webcomic update schedule when you’re feeling unenthusiastic. This is because webcomics often have a certain level of momentum to them, which can be ruined if you start skipping updates.
Even if making a webcomic update feels like a difficult chore, you need to do it so that future webcomic updates will be easier to make when you’re feeling more enthusiastic. Even if the update you make looks absolutely terrible, the fact that you’ve actually made and posted it will mean more to both you and your audience than if you hadn’t.
If you need to take a short break to build up your enthusiasm again, then this is great. Just make sure that you don’t fall behind schedule though, since it might make your webcomic more difficult to get back into.
2) Work out what you can jettison: Since you’ll still have to make a webcomic update, you may as well make it as easy as possible. So, try to work out what you can temporarily get rid of in your next comic update, without seriously damaging the webcomic as a whole.
There are plenty of sneaky ways to do this – such as subtly reducing the level of background detail in your next comic update or even making a “talking head” comic (where the whole comic update consists of nothing more than two characters standing next to each other and talking).
Yes, it won’t look as good as anything you’ve made when you were more enthusiastic, but at least you’ll actually be able to finish the comic.
The thing to remember here is that the most important part of a webcomic is the dialogue. You can skimp on everything else if you have to, but you can’t skimp on the dialogue too much.
3) Build in some safeguards: If you’ve had some experience with making webcomics, then you’ll probably know what is likely to make you feel unenthusiastic. Once you’ve found this out, you should be able to build in some safeguards to reduce the number of times that you feel unenthusiastic.
For example, one of the many things I learnt from my very first webcomic [made in 2010] was that having to repeatedly draw the same detailed background over and over again quickly sapped my motivation. So, in all of my current comics, frequently repeated backgrounds either contain relatively little to no detail, or they’re the kind of dynamic background (eg: the streets of a city) where I can draw something different in the background of each panel.
Likewise, I’ve learnt that there’s a time limit to how long I can make a particular comic before my motivation runs out. As such, I often tend to make shorter narrative comics and/or groups of four-panel webcomic updates that have a limited length (usually between 6-17 comic updates).
This sort of thing differs from comic maker to comic maker, but if you know what will make you feel unenthusiastic, then you can design your comic in a way that reduces the chance of this happening.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂