“What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t my creation have more of an audience?”
These are questions that are often frequent in any industry’s indie sector. No matter what you create, whether it be comics, stories, videos, games, or anything else, there are special challenges that come with being a solo or small-team creator. Oftentimes, indie creators feel that no matter how much work they put into their product, they don’t have enough people consuming their content. This is when those questions start plaguing their minds, and it can lead to some depressing attitudes about future success.
I’m here to tell you that you can succeed when you’ve hit the point where you’re asking these questions. However, in order to be able to succeed, you have to take a very tough and harsh look at your content and how you handle it. Since this can be a scary and intimidating matter, though, today I’m going to walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself. Some of these questions are going to be hard to tackle, and know I mean no particular offense with them. Yet, by working through them you will be better positioned to figure out what you need to do to grow your audience.
How well do you take care of your computer? For creators, this can be an extremely important question to think about. If you’re a digital creator your computer is basically your lifeblood, without which you could not pursue your craft. Even if you’re more traditionally oriented, I imagine you still use your computer and internet in some manner to showcase your works.
As of late I’ve been seeing a lot of creators suffer from computer issues, whether its viruses or the computer just randomly exploding (metaphorically speaking) into non-functionality. What saddens my heart most, however, is that many issues can be prevented if you put some elbow grease into some basic computer maintenance.
However, it occurs to me that many people don’t know where to start exactly in a computer maintenance routine. Even beyond advanced techniques like maintenance scheduling, there’s issues of what tasks to even perform that are a mystery to some. It is with this thought in mind that I want to share with you my seven tips on basic computer maintenance. I personally utilize all these techniques on a routine basis, and it keeps my computers happy and healthy. So, sit back and let me provide you some basic guidelines on how to keep your own computers happy.
Over the weekend, I decided after 4 months of panicked working every day that I would turn it all off and just take some time off. I clocked in many Mass Effect: Andromeda hours, snuggled with blankets, pet cats excessively, and just all around recharged my batteries for a few days. Coming back to work semi more refreshed (though not caught up on tons of sleep I’ve been missing), I was reminded of a fact that seems very true when it comes to indie creators: they’re really bad at taking time off.
Seriously, find any creator and just observe for a while. Eventually they’ll hit a point where they’ll talk about taking time off…and the endless amounts of guilt they feel for not being productive. Maybe you, reader of this post, are one of those people. Even I struggle with this issue a lot. However, taking time off is not only good, it can be essential for better emotional health and creative thinking. As such, today I would like to give you some tips on how you can help yourself take time off. Some of these tips are about changing your mental thinking, and some are designed to help you actually take the time off. Hopefully, you’ll find something of use and can take that mini-vacation you desperately need.
The online sphere is a vast place with people of all skill levels. Some are experienced at their craft and have been doing it for 20+ years. Others are just getting their feet wet. That being said, the internet can be a cruel place where a cult of hating on newbies has formed. Unfortunately, this puts any hobby in a bad place, as it’s the “newbies” who eventually become the experienced people who keep the craft going. Thus, no matter your skill level, hating on the newbies is never good.
Yet, there are subtle ways in which people do not realize that they are discouraging beginners from advancing in any single craft. While I cannot speak for many industries, I can speak for things I see from many experienced artists, as that is where my usual haunt spot is. Art is, unfortunately, not immune to these subtle, discouraging intricacies that do more harm than good. As such, today I would like to talk about these things and give advice on how to avoid turning newbies away from artistic pursuits. My intent is not to call anyone specific out, but simply caution people away from dangerous trends I often see in online conduct.
Though I’m a pretty stringent and organized person, even I’m prone to occasionally taking a break to pursue a sudden, emotional passion. For me, this usually means I’m playing around with MikuMikuDance. MikuMikuDance, for those who are raising their eyebrows, is an animation/dance program that was originally meant to be used to make PVs for Vocaloid characters (hence Miku’s name in the title). However, given its free nature and the robust openness of the program, it has evolved to have a passionate community around it who make all kinds of videos. Some make licensed characters, others make their own characters, some focus on making shareable motions, some focus on making effects, and so on and so forth. There are a billion resources, many provided for free by the community, to allow people to create amazing and creative videos of all sorts.
Given I’m in one of these passionate streaks, today I would like to gush about the program and tell you why you should try it out. It may not be your thing (as blood, sweat, and tears are involved), but for others it may wind up being a rewarding experience. So sit back, and prepare yourself for my love letter to MMD.
Sometimes, it can be really easy to forget that people on the internet are, well, people. Even when someone is candid about their real life identity, there is always a veil of anonymity. I mean, unless they happen to live in your area, you probably aren’t going to meet 99% of the people you interact with online. As such, you are relatively free from consequences to a certain extent. Unfortunately, this safety net has subconscious influences sometimes, and it can often have dire consequences when it comes to your online presence.
The reason I bring this topic up today is I have seen a recent spike in lack of self-awareness. Those posts you write on Twitter? On Discord? On YouTube? On your deviantArt journals? Most everyone can see them. These are public platforms. They function in a similar way as going outside onto busy streets. It is not just your friends who will see them, it’s strangers who are just happening to pass by.
With New Year’s just around the corner, I’m sure many of you will be sitting down to write your New Year’s resolution. Let’s get the downer fact out of the way though: only a small percentage of people really achieve their resolution. Some fail the minute the year starts, others never start, and some just get tossed about by the unpredictability of life. In a lot of cases, though, the sabotage begins the minute you sit down and make that resolution.
Fret not, however. The positive twist to all this is you can make and fulfill a resolution successfully if you put your mind to it. To help you along, I’m here to provide you with my own tips for having a successful New Year’s resolution that you can be proud of for 2018. So sit back, have some hot chocolate, and prepare yourself for a fresh start.
What is it that you should be doing right now? Inking your comic? Writing your novel? Practicing piano? Working your job?
I’m willing to bet that there is at least one thing you’re procrastinating in order to read this post. While I appreciate it, you should consider if this indicative of a larger problem. If this is your first break, then by all means enjoy yourself and relax! However, if this is the millionth post you read while procrastinating, you may want to consider you are exhibiting some signs of poor self-discipline.
Weight loss is often a very popular New Year’s resolution, and one that a lot of people struggle with. Sure, those first few weeks go well. You’re eating your salads and soups, you’re drinking your water, etc. Of course, everyone is allowed a cheat day so you can eat that chocolate cake you’ve been saving, right? Only, suddenly the next day you’re sad and that cheat day becomes two cheat days. Soon, everything has spiraled out of control, and the goal of losing weight is lost to the abyss. Even if it wasn’t your New Year’s resolution, this is often how weight loss spirals into failure regardless.
Weight loss is hard. There’s no way around it. If it was easy, the anecdote above would be far less common. However, as someone who has lost an enormous amount of weight in my life, I can tell you that weight loss is possible. Given my own successes with it, I feel it might be helpful to some for me to share my tips regarding the subject. So, if this is something you’d be interested in, read on!