• Category Archives Public Journal
  • Public journal of author and cartoonist, A.P. Fuchs.

  • On Hobbies

    Character flaw: I have no hobbies or other areas of interest outside of stories and publishing.

    For twenty years I’ve lived and breathed this stuff. It’s how I spent ALL of my time. What it’s left me with is nothing to do when creative time is done. I’m a different–and older–man compared to my twenties and thirties. I have responsibilities, people to love, and a life to invest in thus my working time has been cut back.

    As much as I’d like to say I do this morning until night–like I used to–now I do it morning until late afternoon, which leaves many other hours in the day. I’ve figured out how to spend some of that time . . . but I need a hobby outside of collecting stuff. I need a hobby where I DO something.

    Heck, it might even feed into the creativity.

    Loading


  • On Coffee Time

    The fun part about these Public Journal entries is I can make them about anything I want.

    Today I want to talk about coffee time, namely morning coffee time.

    I have this bad habit of waking up, eating, then wanting to get right to work. I used to do that but my summer schedule has taught me to slow things down and practice self-care. So I have a (new) rule: no working until after coffee. Like everyone, coffee clears the cobwebs and brings focus to the day. And when you’re a writer, a clear head is an asset and I have to remember that each morning until it becomes a habit.

    I have an erratic sleep schedule. I go to bed early because I’m tired, then I wake up at 1, am up for a bit, then go back to sleep, then wake up at 5ish, then go back to sleep for a couple hours. I wish I could sleep through the night like Melinda but I wake up with stories on my mind. I also suspect it’s this sleep schedule that makes me groggy in the morning hence why the coffee is so important.

    So I’ve slowed things down, in a manner of speaking, and won’t start my day until after coffee and the cobwebs have cleared. I find I’m more productive this way and right now productive is what I need to be even if I’m still on the summer schedule.

    Loading


  • On Writer’s Block

    Writer’s block can be discouraging. You’re on a roll with your project then suddenly you hit a mental brick wall and the words cease. Hours go by, days, even weeks. You just can’t seem to get past that certain point in your story. You kinda know where it’s going but how to get there? Good question.

    My suggestion to overcome writer’s block is to write through it. You can certainly pick the project you’re working on and give it a go, but if that’s not an option, write something else. It doesn’t have to be for publication. It could be a snippet, a thought, a blog post or article, poetry, even a rant about how frustrated you are. The point is to keep writing anyway.

    That’s been my personal experience and writing anyway eventually beats down that wall and let’s you resume your project again.

    This applies to drawing or any creative outlet.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Loading


  • On Walking

    Whenever I get stumped on a story or drawing, I go for a walk and let the idea stew. My thoughts wander from my personal life to my work–namely to the last scene I wrote–and I begin thinking about what should happen next. In the instance of having a lot of tasks to do, I go for walks so I don’t get overwhelmed. This gives me a chance to mentally work through my to-do list and break it down into small daily chunks while still keeping deadlines on track or on shuffle.

    I find walks clear my mind–whether alone or with Melinda–plus they are good exercise.

    If you get stuck on an idea–or too many ideas–consider going for a stroll to mentally work things out.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Loading


  • On Not Writing

    With the two waves of books I plan on putting out this year, I’ve been so busy as my health will allow that I haven’t been getting any writing done. It makes me feel down and sad especially since there’s no way I’m going to finish the Axiom-man books in time for comic con. Writing them is one thing; publishing them and all the time that takes is another.

    So I’m kind of left without a path because I’m busy getting books ready for print and eBook and don’t have a creative outlet.

    I don’t know.

    Just venting.

    Need to come up with a plan.

    Loading


  • On Human Beings are Fiction

    We’ve all heard the expression, “You write your own story,” or a version thereof. And while this is true in the context that our lives are the stories we are the authors of, it is also true you are a piece of fiction to someone else.

    Only you and you alone know everything you’ve ever felt, thought, said, dreamed, and did. You know every experience and every secret thing.

    Everyone else doesn’t nor do you know the same of them.

    Despite how close we might be to some people–even those we swear we know up and down and left and right–we still don’t know them. Not the real them, and we never will.

    We know fragments. We know the stories they’ve told us of their various experiences, thoughts, words, actions, dreams. We know the stories from the joint experiences shared.

    But we are never them.

    What happens is we end up creating a narrative about someone to make sense of them. We subconsciously fill in the gaps between their tales on an ever-assembling timeline of their life. They do the same to you.

    It is all stories.

    At best, it’s a case of “based on true events” but, in the end, we are all bits of narration to each other with varying degrees of accuracy.

    We are all fiction.

    Loading


  • On Getting Unstuck with Ideas

    Ideas are a funny thing. Sometimes they come to you fully formed; other times they’re a few ingredients short of a full recipe.

    This happened to me recently.

    If you know me, you know I operate on a Loose Skeleton approach to ideas. An idea comes but it’s often missing the main tissues that connects the whole thing and forms a complete picture.

    Yesterday (I think), a skeleton of an idea for Project Rebuild grew some muscle and took shape. After, I was able to step back and take a good look at that shape and see if it was viable or not.

    It was.

    There are still some finer points that need to grow on this idea, things like its skin and overall aesthetics, but the bulk of the idea is complete and, I suspect, the rest will be sorted out on the drawing board.

    Here’s the point: Don’t dismiss an idea just because it’s missing its meat and potatoes. Like any meal, it all begins in the kitchen as loose parts that will later be combined to make a dish. Some ingredients you have in your pantry, some are hidden away at the back of the shelf, others you need to go to the store for.

    Bottom line: Write the idea down and let your subconscious do the work of adding more things to the pot and getting it cooking. You’ll be surprised as to what comes out.

    Loading


  • On Think Days

    Sometimes the mental baggage piles up, and I’m not referring to personal issues (though those days happen, too). In this case, I’m referring to creative efforts. Sometimes the headspace gets cluttered, and when you’re often going 1000mph, it can happen even more. Throw some sleep difficulties on there and, well, on some days life is like peering through a fog.

    Today will be spent coasting, that is, moving from thing to thing and spending time in thought and sorting through my mental landscape and getting myself organized. Of course, this looks like I’m doing nothing, but since making books and comics is primarily a cerebral effort, I’m actually doing a lot, just intangibly. Often, the bulk of the work is done in one’s head and what shows up on paper is only a small piece of said work.

    Think days are allowed. Coast days are, too.

    Here we go.

    Loading


  • On One Thing at a Time

    In our effort to Slow Down to Speed Up, we’ve been adjusting our workflow to One Thing at a Time. Yes, we have several irons in the fire at any given moment, but in terms of dedicated approach, we are working on one thing at a time throughout the day, sometimes for the whole day depending on what it is.

    Example:

    Today’s main task was proofing the second part of my two-part article series for Patreon on what to do if you feel your career in the arts isn’t doing well and then uploading it. This is complete and can be accessed here.

    The next task was to promote it online (also done). Now we do this blog entry before moving on to something else.

    However, the day had a priority task–the article–thus the One Thing at a Time approach.

    Due to world events, I’ve had to adjust my workflow and for right now, One Thing at a Time is the best thing for how I conduct my day.