It's been a frustrating stretch. I've just scrapped thirty completed pages on my book about Turkmenistan. This week I found myself starting over at page one. I feel good about the new direction, but dumping over a month of work doesn't feel great at all. It's hard not to feel that all that time was wasted. There was all that effort getting facial expressions and making sure the panels from one to the other. It's hard not to feel like Sisyphus and it's easy to have doubts.
But I had to go there to get where I am now and it seems that's the way with my long projects. They never go as smoothly as I imagine they will. They always take twice as long as I expect. There is always a moment when I find myself so frustrated that the only thing I can do is yell wordlessly. Ink bottles spill. Pen nibs break. I draw the same characters over and over again, panel after panel, page after page.
Which is why short projects are wonderful. They're over and done with so quickly and if they come out well I'm happy and if they don't, it's not like I spent over a month on them.
They're little victories.
And little victories make it easier to keep plugging away at the long projects.