Well howdy Brett! Haven’t seen you since Uncle Chuck and Lacey were engaging in some frontier medicine on your person.
Perusing a recent article on the geek culture site Bleeding Cool, I was reminded of past ramblings of my own on the subject of schedules and sanity. Actually I was just reminded of the past (and present, and future) period.
Now first off, I immediately recognized the article was for what it is: an adicle. Is that a word? It should be a word. For me, an “adicle” is a thinly disguised writing piece centered around promotion of a current project, in this case a Kickstarter the author currently has underway to collect his independently published comics into a book. You know, just like we did last year. I’m fairly certain Rivenis (the author in question) would cheerfully admit this if pressed, and furthermore would just be ecstatically happy we linked to him no matter what I said about his work. At least, that’s how I would feel. When you’re running a Kickstarter you’re scrounging for any scrap of recognition you can get — even a negative post could get people curious enough to go look, and they might end up disagreeing with the referrer and supporting you!
But I’m not negative. I refuse to look down on the idea of the adicle, at least where an independent creator is concerned, and especially here where the piece is about being an independent creator and the points he lists are something a new hopeful will find good to keep in mind and an old hand will nod knowingly at — and even feel comforted by. Because it doesn’t matter how many fits of depression you end up having in your creative career — there will always be room for another, and depression loves company. So to speak. I don’t mean that literally, I mean that it’s good sometimes to talk with or even read from a peer and get the reminder that they go through the same cycles. They have similar experiences, and joys and fears. You learn that even some of the more well-known folks have to struggle every day with introversion and self-doubt as they promote their work.
The adicle is one of the pinnacles of that struggle, where you’re basically requesting space on a popular website to do some form of thinkpiece that also happens to be an arm-waving “Hey! I’m here! Check me out!” to any of the masses that might happen by. If you’re not a card-carrying narcissist, that latter half can be really tough to come to terms with, so I’d say in that sense it’s actually easier when you combine such shenanigans with content you think might be interesting to at least a certain segment of people. It’s also far better when you’re writing for a site not to just think that you and your work alone would count as some sort of news.
Anyhow, all in all I’d hold up Rivenis’s article as a good example of balancing an adicle between content and promotion. Sure you could claim that if you’ve read one article about self-publishing you’ve read ’em all, but as I said above, I’m going to respectfully disagree with that notion because human beings need the occasional refresher. Also, even though we have similar experiences it doesn’t mean we have identical ones, and I found it interesting to hear about Rivenis being able to turn out more comics *after* he relaxed his production schedule, because the more reasonable pace lessened the dangers of burnout.
And no, he didn’t ask me to write this, nor do I know the guy. This week he just gets to be the beneficiary of my good will and good karma, perhaps in support of his point that indie comics creators are by and large a cooperative and upstanding bunch. On the other hand, this may end up being a rare case of outright altruism where I’m not expecting him to be aware of this post, much less talk about our comic in return. Usually there’s an unspoken quid pro quo to these things, just because we’re all aware how hard it can be to get the word out. But our own Kickstarter’s over and eh, he reaps the good fortune of timing in moving me to discussion.
Plus that comic of his looks pretty damn cool.