There will be a lot of times when you feel like you aren’t getting ahead. You feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, not even treading water.
This is all in your head. You only fail when you stop. In the meantime, you have to do one thing, and one thing only:
Fake it until you make it.
I know how it sounds, but it’s true. You can psych yourself out very easily. The reason for this is simple: in comics, you’re very often working in a vacuum. That can be very lonely. Loneliness can do things to your head, and that can be detrimental to your projects.
So you’ve got to tread water, keep your head up, and fake it until you make it. Faking it means just that: putting on a front.
Fake it until you make it has two components to it, thankfully. They’re also both pretty simple. There is one that is harder to assess than the other, though.
Faking it is simple. Ever meet someone when you’re just not in the mood, but you sucked it up and did what you needed to do? Faking it. Simple. The hard part of it is just not feeling up to it. The great thing about faking it in today’s society is that you do most of your socializing online. Faking it when others can’t see you is easy. Don’t go overboard with it. Just make sure you’re doing what you need to in order to keep doing the work.
The more challenging part is knowing when to quit—or when you’ve “made it”. This is something only you will be able to determine. It’s very much like success: only you know what you want, so only you can tell when you’ve achieved it. And achieving that success will probably be a moving target (and should be, because remaining in one place, at one level, is boring).
The kicker is that you more than likely will have to do this more than once. And it doesn’t get easier. Just like working out at your max level—while you’ll get stronger over time, the workouts won’t become easier.