There are lots of little secrets that go into making it in comics. Lots of sayings that act as pearls of wisdom. There are lots of things that you should and should not be doing as a creator, and there are lots of paths to making comics. The internet has made it even easier, as well as much more difficult.
The biggest pearl of wisdom, the most useful one, is that comics is a marathon, not a sprint.
That’s another way of saying “slow and steady wins the race.”
The best way I’ve found is to make lots of small, attainable goals so that you can continue to have forward momentum, both in creating comics and in getting them out to readers. Some examples are to write X amount of script pages per week, have X amount of pages commissioned every couple of months, create a full comic that is worthy of Diamond distribution, and save your money at every opportunity.
Small goals will see you through. They are measurable, and because they’re attainable, they’ll motivate you to keep going.
The small goals should lead to larger goals (such as getting into Diamond or having a comic accepted at a publisher), but you also need to go back to the goals in order to distract yourself while you’re waiting for other things, such as hearing back from a publisher.
Why don’t I advocate large goals to start with? The simple reason is that it’s very easy to become discouraged and give up. Giving up doesn’t get you anything, besides mark you as a failure. You only ever fail at something if you give up.
I did some work with a martial artist once, and he told me that he never lost in the ring. He learned. If he didn’t win, it wasn’t a loss, it was a learning opportunity, so he could come back and win the next time. That’s how I think creators should look at rejections. They didn’t fail, they just learned that the publisher didn’t like their submission because (insert reason here), so if they work on that, they can learn something else, and eventually get in at that publisher.
Small goals. They’re easier to achieve, will do wonders for your ego, and will show you that you can do it.
Go make some small goals.