HAPPY NEW YEAR, visitors. May it be good to you.

Working freelance on a long-term project does have its challenges, as you may know. There are times when you can’t see your way through what seems like a never-ending tunnel of slog. As a comic-making friend summed up: “Making graphic novels is just so grueling.” Yes. Grueling. I do feel a tad grueled, at this midpoint of Remorse. (Midpoints. Hmph. I always preferred Monday to Wednesday, do you? Wednesday has a tired hump-bridge, not-here, not-there feel about it. Bleah, Wednesday/midpoint.)

And so! In the interests of finishing it, Remorse, before the next millennium, I spent some time on New Year’s Day making this chart. It may not be immeeeediately apparent but it is, in fact, a chart of the year 2014, with my goals visually depicted on it. Rather than shooting for the big finale, also known as The End, I have broken the 45-ish pages it’ll take to tell the rest of the story into 9 segments of 5. After every 5 pages, which I tick off, I get an appropriate reward. This could be anything. Like an outing. Or a cup of tea. A lunch out. A morning off. Something that makes sense at that moment, that’s all. Also, because it is foamboard, I can add ideas and projects easily. There’s a Zine fest I could work towards? Good, add it.

It’s the second year I have implemented the Fantastic Reward Chart System, and last year, I found it very helpful. I would show you the filled in chart of 2013 but sadly I seem to have recycled it. It was a useful document, not only in terms of motivating and structuring my time, but also as a piece of evidence of what had been accomplished. When you are your own HR department, (not to mention accountant/boss/intern) and make your own reviews, this is all important.

Other than that, I resolve to be more outward-bound in 2014. It is time to emerge from the shed in the garden, drawings clutched in hand. You have been warned, Dublin.