I’d forgive you for thinking I’d just jacked in the blogging thing. I don’t have a great track record of keeping it regular. The past week’s absence, though, isn’t that. I came down with the flu and tonsillitis and was just pretty wiped out. Trying to write something coherent between dizzy spells and stroking a picture of my bed just wasn’t going to happen. Hopefully this is the resumption of regular service.
I’ve seen comic writers online talk about how, if you’re freelance, you don’t get sickdays like I just had. You get sick, you lose money, it’s that simple. And horrible. And while that’s a particular peril of freelance work that needs to be addressed, it puts me in mind of what I think is a particularly nasty, narrow minded school of thought – suffer for your art . The idea that you need pain to make your work worthwhile, that you need to grind it out. I’m all for hard work to create something, but I draw the line at actual suffering. Art isn’t supposed to be like that. There’s nothing noble or magical or beautiful about suffering, whether you’re creating something or not. Suffering is suffering and anyone who tells you that you *need* to suffer or that it will ennoble you is someone you need to get out of your life. There’s nothing worthwhile in the world that can only be achieved through suffering. There’s always another way.
This puts me in mind too of the related idea of mental illness being some kind of magical creativity enhancer. That the trade off for depression or any other illness is talent. It’s not. (I’d recommend the film Frank if you want to see a great takedown of the mental-illness-as-muse trope.) Mental illness will no more help your creativity than the flu.
Anyway, just a short one today to get back into things. It’s December tomorrow so expect me to become annoyingly festive as the weeks go on. You’ve been warned.