Something from nothing.
My productivity has taken a hit since our son was born. Or I feel like it’s taken a hit, but when I’m doing nothing I’ve come to realize that I’m actually doing something. Or rather, I’ve come to realize that what I thought was slacking was actually something quite productive. Or perhaps it was a new definition of what was… well, let me explain.
Over the years, “productivity” has meant doing work on comics. Drawing Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, writing scripts for Star Power, outlining new story ideas for both, making or mailing out merchandise, and anything else related to creating a comic. With the arrival of my son, the last month and a half has seen a decline in that productivity because that’s what happens when a baby arrives. I can’t shut myself in my office to write scripts or outline stories while he’s crying for food, a diaper change, or simple attention. The first two of those are easy to remedy. It’s the last one that’s the real productivity-killer.
And that’s where I started to realize I was being productive while doing nothing.
Whenever I’m away from the story writing process, I feel like I’m slacking. Unless I’m packing and mailing book orders (like I’m currently doing with the Dominic Deegan omnibus) time away from a story is time I’m wasting. So there’s still a part of my brain that feels like whenever I’m holding my son while he’s sleeping or playing with him while he’s awake, I’m neglecting the comic and therefore being a huge slacker. That part of my brain is a moron.
When I get stuck on the couch staring at the ceiling because my son has fallen asleep on my chest and moving him will wake him up, it’s not really “doing nothing.” I’m being a source of comfort for a baby. When he’s wide awake and chirping for attention from his swing, playing with his feet and poking his belly isn’t slacking from my other obligations. It’s engaging a human brain in its development and (hopefully) helping it learn. These are not profound revelations by any means, but they were for me in those moments.
Raising a human from scratch is a series of weird revelations that other, more experienced people would describe as “duh.”