Yesterday, I had to scrap my secret plan. It was a good plan; I was committed to it. Things were going along relatively smoothly. But I had to scrap it because of outside forces. My secret plan was to run the Chicago Marathon later this year.
I got the notion right around the time of the Chicago Marathon last year. A friend of mine was going to run it and I thought, "Hey, that'd be kind of cool to have a marathon checked off my bucket list." Not that I actually have a bucket list, but the idea was that it was a goal that most people don't even consider attempting because it takes a lot of hard work and determination. I don't want to run marathons as a regular thing, but I think it'd be a great experience to run one once.
The concern I initially had was that I was never much of a runner. Certainly not distance running. So I started last year slowly trying to get myself up to a point where I could start marathon training. From what I'd read, that meant being able to run for about a half hour without stopping or slowing down.
The Chicago Marathon this year is on October 9. I found what sounded like a good, formal marathon training schedule for novice runners and backtracked to when I would need to start that. My first day of what I consider formal marathon training was last week Tuesday.
The past week and a half have gone fairly smoothly, training-wise, so I hit the Chicago Marathon site to finally register. Only to find out that it's completely booked. 45,000 people have already signed up for a race that's still about four months away. I was NOT expecting that. A quick look around the internet, too, shows that it's one of the last marathons of the year in the U.S. -- certainly among the places I could realistically get to -- and I wouldn't really have time to properly train for anything sooner.
So my secret marathon plan for 2011 is scrapped. (Though I still plan on training in case, like last year, a friend that has signed up runs into health problems shortly before the race and can't actually run it.)
See, my problem here was that I hesitated. I waited too long. I didn't take command of my own destiny and let someone else make my choices for me. When I wrote my book, it didn't happen because somebody else wanted me to write it; it happened because I made it happen. I chose to sit down and work on it every night. It happened because I stopped fooling around with the idea and just sat down to do it.
For whatever thoughts I have on the execution of DC's reboot, I will give them credit for actually doing something. Things never change if you don't do anything different, so I give them props for that. But for anyone dickering about whether or not they could launch a new comic, or try to get into the business, or whatever, stop whinging on about it and do something.
That said, let me throw out there that today I'm going to officially start work on my OTHER secret plan: my second book. (Since I'm evidently not taking my time up with a marathon.) I'll also say that I am not going to hold myself to the crazy-ass deadlines that I set up for my first book -- that about killed me. But, barring any major roadblocks, look for a history of comic book retailing from yours truly sometime in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully by the end of the year, but I think I'll have to do more research than with Comic Book Fanthropology plus, as I said, I'm still going to stick with my marathon training.
My point with all this rambling, though, is that your book is never going to get written if you don't write it. Your career in comics is never going to take off if you don't dive into it. Your webcomic isn't going to make that other one you hate look like the crap that it is unless you start posting it. It's something of a trite slogan any more, but just do it.