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C06P34 – Choice

C06P34 – Choice published on 21 Comments on C06P34 – Choice

Sometimes it’s hard to see choices. I have a tendency to see everything in two options: Doomed if you do, and doomed if you don’t. It’s my knee-jerk reaction to any stressful situation.

For example, when I first started LeyLines I began to feel a huge friction between doing what I loved — storytelling — and doing what kept a roof over my head and food on my plate. I felt like all my time was going towards something I didn’t care about, and nothing was going towards my creative work. The only options I saw were: 1) Doomed if you do: Keep working myself to the bone until I lost my mind or, 2) Doomed if you don’t: Abandon my day job, live off of savings, and go down swinging knowing that “at least I tried”.

Fortunately, I my friend Kelly talked with me and pointed out that there were many other options I could take! Many of which would NOT lead to catastrophic self-destruction. Now, a year later, I’m working on volume two, looking forward to future cons, and learning how to balance doing what I love with doing what I need to. All because Kelly helped me see that there are always more than two choices. Thank goodness for friends with perspective!

How many options do you usually see when you’re trying to solve a problem?

21 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

I’m intrigued by the way Dreameater is stretching nightmarishly as he moves towards giving Zhiro the answer he so desires.

Question is, if he is given his answer will he even be able to act on the information he receives?

By the way Dreameater is talking…I’m thinking that answer is NO.

I liked the idea that when Dream Eater exercises his power, he takes on a more alien appearance. No matter how friendly a god might appear when in conversation, in reality they are not the same kinds of beings as Timu and Lightbringers.

It would be fun to draw Rainbow Goddess’ true form sometime too…

I have a feeling he will be able to act on it; although it might not be in as timely a manner as he might want it to be.

Great page BUT WHAT IS THE FREE TRUTH? WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME WITH THESE THINGS OF FREENESS AND THEN YOU DON’T DELIVER UNTIL THE NEXT PAGE?!

WHY, ROBIN, WHYYYYYYY?

I’m so nervous about what Dreameater is going to take. I mean, everything is going so well, which only means that it’s Zhiro’s turn to have his mind broken. D:

Also, I love that little backwards high-five. I like Dreameater, even though he’s probably going to break my favorite character.

I believe there are many many options out there to find creative fulfillment. Usually, it’s singling out just one direction that’s my problem! But I think there’s a determination that forms in your mind when you’ve committed to something that can turn into an “all or nothing” attitude. On one hand, feeling like you NEED to accomplish something can make you try harder. But on the other, it can be very crushing and stressful.

Am I wrong for liking the puppies? They look so cool and Zhiro is totally small enough to put a saddle on one of them and ride it around and maybe he could wear a silly hat and okay I’ll stop now.

I love drawing those critters. They’re like giant fox squirrels. 🙂

I definitely relate to determination gone wrong, although I like the idea that the sentiment starts in a good place. The desire to commit to something is great – but when it goes too far and creates artificial restrictions and requirements, it can go sour. Important for me to remember to keep that core of determination at a healthy level!

Twelve thousand seven hundred and ninety one, and how all their little meandering paths end up. No choice is ever the right one, only the right now one :p

I’m basically the same way you are. It’s so hard to see those other options most of the time, and I don’t know why! What do you think?

Also, very excited for the next page o:

Personally, I think doomed-or-doomed thinking is a learned behavior. Rooted, I would guess, in perfectionist tendencies. At least, that’s been my experience! I have a very strong, learned behavior of setting myself up for failure. Which is exactly what doomed-or-doomed options are. It allows my brain to ignore all the options that could lead to success, and focus instead on just the ones that lead to catastrophic ends. On the upside, I am learning to take a breath and back off when I find myself thinking along such narrow tracks. I know that, even if I can’t see them at the time, there ARE other options, and if I give myself a moment (or ten) I might see them.

Yeah, I’m slowly learning, too! For me I think it comes from a long life of regular catastrophes/traumatic events (usually right when things were “going well”) as well as being let down by promises a lot, so I’ve come to expect EVERYTHING to end in doom. That and my anxiety manifests as obsessive thinking, which I feel like you understand!

I’m glad you’ve been learning to breathe and back up when this happens…I’ve been trying, myself, but it’s difficult, yeah?

“Difficult” is an understatement, but it’s definitely something that is a slow-and-steady challenge. I definitely can related to the “Going well = DOOM”. I believed that looking forward to something guaranteed its destruction for…oh…the first two decades of my life. Cory helped me realize that the catastrophes weren’t caused by good things happening. They were caused by the people I had been around. Change the people — change the outcome. At least, that was the situation I was in. Yours may be different. That’s just how I relate to the situation you described.

I’ve found it very helpful to identify Option-Finders: People that are naturally good at seeing many options for a situation, AND that I can trust and know are Safe People. Fortunately I have two friends that are like this, so I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m stuck, I can ask them to help me go through the situation and think of other types of approaches.

The weird truth is, the way you make LeyLines, you’re an architect writer not a gardener writer (George R. R. Martin’s terminology; he is an extreme example of the latter, you, of the former). LeyLines is an engineering project, yes a storytelling project, but thing-building and world building are both engineering to a large extent. What you’ve learned to present as binaries are really not, I see you “engineering” LeyLines, I see engineer-ness and comic creator-ness intertwining constantly in countless permutations.

I’d never thought about the link between how I world-build and my engineering education. That’s very exciting to me! In darker moments it’s easy for me to feel that my education was a waste, because ultimately it has nothing to do with what I’m passionate about. Viewing links between my engineering side and my creative side help remind me that nothing is a waste if you learn from it.

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