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Sabbatical Under Way…

Here we go...

After a whirlwind couple of weeks getting everything in order at the day job and handing over, I’m off on my time off.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks sorting everything in my life out that can have an impact on my work for the next three months. That has included the obvious like sorting out my desk and clearing out all the detritus (hence the image above), to finally finding a worthy home for the Power Mac G5 and display that has been taking up half our “playroom” (what gertrude and george call their office…). Reorganised the book shelves in the living room and even went through and organised, back up and deleted everything on my work machine. It feels good.

Now there is just that wee little issue of making good on the time that this Arts Council grant is going to give me. The time ahead feels deliciously full of opportunity. But I also know that, without rigorous planning of each moment of the day, I’ll get to end of my time having not done nearly as much as I’d like. With a wife whom I love and who I want to continue to be in love with me, a beautiful little daughter, and my goals as an author and cartoonist, I’m looking at planning virtually every waking hour.

So what do I want to accomplish in all of this time off? It’s a good question considering I’ve been granted this reprieve from the 38 (but most often 50) hours a week I was spending at the day job. 4 years ago, as 2010 dawned, I was looking at getting married to the woman of my dreams a second time in May. I was a – ahem – larger man than I wanted to be for said event. As I was perusing various posts on the internet about new years resolutions and how not to make them be irrelevant by January 15th, one of the best things I came across said not to focus on the task, but to focus on the what those tasks would help you become. If you focus on the thing (not eating at MacDonalds, going to the gym three days a week, blogging every week), the first time you fail at the thing, you feel like a failure and it’s easy to abandon the resolution. But if instead you focus on the person you want to become, there are almost always a number of paths toward that goal. Perhaps one week, you fail at staying on one of those paths. But there are others you can take.

My focuses: at the end of these three months, I want to be a better cartoonist, a better husband and father and a better man. What will some of those outputs look like?

Well, as far as being a better cartoonist: I’ll have a finished second draft of the script of the next graphic novel, I’ll have a sheaf of  thumbnails plotting out that book and I’ll have 10-15 completed pages to show anyone what the final book will look like. I’ll also have done a ton of sketching around Brighton and gone to some life drawing classes (something I’ve not done since munchkin was born).

As for being a better husband and father: I’ll be better about sharing the load with Lyndsay because I’ll now have time to to do the school run, and give her time on the weekends to do her work by hanging out with Aurelia and bonding.

And as for being a better man: there are some old reliable things like eating better, calorie counting and working out, reading books instead of the internet and Facebook, and sleeping more.

So wish me luck. My aim is to do updates here regularly to track my progress.

Until next time…

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