As Baby Barbarian's Kickstarter Launch draws near, I can't help but reflect on the things I've learned this last year.
I'm not going to lie. It's been a quite an ordeal.
It all started when I joined the Comixlaunch program back in March 2020. As I've written before, it was not a coincidence that I did so when the lock-down got real.
After I put that initial skin in the game I had to keep going.
Which brings me to lesson one:
PUT YOUR FOOT IN YOUR MOUTH WHERE YOUR MONEY IS
You've got to have something at stake in the process, otherwise you'll be tempted to give up when the going gets tough. When you invest, you are literally invested.
More--and this is related to why I joined Comixlaunch--pay attention to the people who've already accomplished what you say you want to do.
When we are young, we (me) sometimes think we know it all. But as a confused man once said:
“If I knew half as much now as I thought I knew then, I'd be twice as smart as I was.”
Focus on one Course until success
Tyler James, the founder of Comixlaunch, has a lot of great advice, but chief among these for me has been the morsel: FOCUS. Focus On One Course Until Success.
Which means for me, putting the other stuff away.
The 100,000 word weird fantasy novel I've been working on for the last ten years. Other graphic novel scripts. The recent story I started until I looked in the mirror and saw a red-eyed, sleep-deprived madman staring back at me etc. etc.
The sad truth is that all those inchoate projects have meant that I've never finished anything except under duress.
Which leads me to my next lesson.
NO PLAN B
As a buddy from Hawaii once told me: many successful creatives don't leave themselves a Plan B. That becomes the proverbial tightening of the screws.
Are you reading this? If so, then you're are literally reading my intention to put out into the world Baby Barbarian and very soon at that!
In a matter of days, the Internet will know, and that is tantamount to telling the Twitter Town Crier in the Global Village that my plan is afoot.
And there are a lot of Global Village Idiots out there, ready to pounce.
I DUNNO… MAYBE IT'S NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA…
This brings me to the last thing I've learned while designing and developing Baby Barbarian.
Don't fall victim to paralysis by analysis.
This last year I spent oodles of time glued to the screen, studying Facebook ads and screen grabs, email blasts and market forecasts, lead magnets and customer dragnets, audience priming with proper timing, email workflows and tech bros, tag lines and brag lines, correct page dimensions, start-of-the-art inventions, branding and product sanding, key words and bird turds… In sum, plumbing the rabbit hole of internet DIY self help ad nauseam.
At some point all that help started to make me feel helpless because every resource gives yet more advice.
And, since I'm mixing so many metaphors here, allow me leave to butcher another pair:
IF YOU DON'T PULL THE TRIGGER YOU'LL DROWN
In this sea of information and indecision. As some point you've got to say this is good enough, at least for now.
Because you are good enough, at least for now. And I am too. Certainly not perfect, but maybe just good enough to get a decent book into people's hands and elicit some laughs, perhaps a tear, falling from the corner of some softie-dad's eye (me) as he reads to his son. A mother somewhere will choke up as she reads about Brom's efforts to reunite with his parents as her daughter admires the shiny objects and bright colors.
When all is said and done, that is what a good story is about.