Friday, 30 November 2012

Fail better next time

I can't believe i haven't blogged since Tuesday and it's now Friday!

Anyway, here i am talking into the usual reassuring void.  The big issue today is that it's the deadline for publishing 'Here Be Dragons', so i've done so.  Here's the cover:

The reason for its rather anonymous appearance is my malicious compliance.  To be less snarky, the situation is that i undertook to publish it on 30th November, which is today.  Unfortunately, it wasn't ready.  Therefore, i've published it without giving access to anyone else.  The cover is blank because there is no cover design and there are also rather few illustrations - only fifty-nine in fact, so about one per a thousand words.  For a picture book, this is nowhere near enough.

So what happened?  Well, one problem was my notorious and extreme idleness, but there are other factors too. The most important of these is probably that i embarked on a project i lacked the skills to complete, namely illustration.  For most people, this wouldn't be a problem because they'd be able to communicate their needs clearly.  For me, however, with my terrible communication skills, this is not a viable way to proceed because i will be unable to communicate my needs clearly.  I suppose that means i need to work on that, but i thought i had.  Apparently not.

Another thing which was probably not appreciated was why i'm so strict about deadlines.  The deadline, which i also failed to communicate effectively, was today.  If i break a self-imposed deadline, it will be harder for me to take future deadlines seriously and there will be negative consequences, as i have been experiencing this year with my tax fine, incurred due to missing deadlines.  Someone observed that i seemed to make the project about the deadline rather than the project, and on reflection that's a very astute observation, because that's exactly what i've done.  I also think that's the right way round because whereas one individual bit of activity might be important, the whole approach is likely to be more so because it affects all sorts of other things throughout the rest of one's life.

The puzzling thing about this experience is the success of the side projects, something which i've noticed about myself before and which is endlessly frustrating.  The side projects in this case are the ebook and 'You Could've Thought Of That'.  The latter was an attempt at a dummy run for the main project, so i could learn from my successes and failures when i went for the real thing.  It proved to be fairly successful, though less than the other spin-off project, the ebook of short stories.  This exists in a vacuum - nobody who has read it knows me as far as i know, because i wanted it to succeed on its own merits, which it has.  This is a common phenomenon, which is repeated elsewhere in my life.  For some reason, focussing on a project seems to make it fail and apathy about it seems to help it succeed.  The Other Channel is a notorious example of this.  I think it's probably connected to my failure to get a girlfriend until i was twenty-one and my complete failure to find a job, even now (i'd actually love to be a shelf-stacker at Iceland or work down the sewers, and i'm completely serious about both of those), so it's really blocking me, whatever it is.  Possibly it's coming across as desperate and trying too hard.

Today's video has yet to be made public, so if someone were to watch it on here it would probably be a first.  Here it is:


This is a history of the world in a hundred doodles, actually slightly fewer.  One of the frames is out of place, incidentally - the one with the broadleaved tree and the dinosaur comes in too early.

The video i actually made today, which will be released tomorrow, is here:


This is just about what i said above.

So what to learn from this?  Well, i suppose one thing other people might realise from this is that i mean what i say, but then who doesn't?  What i have to learn from it is that it's difficult to work with other people due to my poor communication skills, and that my main successes are always in subsidiary projects, and what to do with that information i have no idea.