First Things Last

Here’s a tip that is applicable to many art forms – comics, writing, storyboards.


You know the terror of the blank page, right? That first paragraph, that we know is important to grab the reader, can be really hard to write. That first page of the comic that has to be so good that anyone who sees it will buy it immediately. Not an easy thing to sit down and draw.

So my advice is: Don’t!


Skip ahead and draw a page in the middle, write a chapter near the end, draw frame 17 instead of number 1.

We writers and artists are our own worst enemy. The fear of failure is always trying to stop us dead in our tracks. So do what you can to cheat yourself into just getting the damn work done! If you can’t get yourself to start on page 5, make yourself a promise to re-draw the first four pages. Why? Because it frees up your creativity and allows you to get the job done. You’ll probably do better work. You might not even have to re-draw much.


Who starts their working day by producing fantastic art or irresistible prose? No one I know. Writing or drawing is a muscle that needs to be flexed. Even a pro footballer needs to warm-up. So instead of beating yourself up over the lack of progress, imperfection and endless procrastination, skip the hard part and work on the parts that seem less important. When you’re warmed up, go back and make that great opening shot, that first line that just zaps the reader with “must-buy” vibes.


Just make sure that you DO get it done eventually. Promise me that and you have my permission to eat your dessert first.

For more tips and inspiration, go to my website www.palleschmidt.com

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