Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ball State Reminder and Advice From Jerry Seinfled

I've been busy preparing for my talk at Ball State University this week so I haven't had much time to write posts. But the good news is that I've generated some new material that I will post here after my talk. As a reminder, I'll be talking about how the Story process works at Disney, what qualities make a good story sketch (and story artists), and about the making of the story of "Tangled".

I did an interview with Payne Horning from WCRD (the Ball State Radio station) that will be airing tomorrow morning, for anyone interested.

There's a new preview of my graphic novel here.

We all know how difficult it can be to work on our own projects in our spare time and how easy it is to let our projects fall to the bottom of our priorities and then usually into oblivion. I found this article that suggests a simple technique from Jerry Seinfeld to help provide motivation for working on your project every day. At first it seemed too simple to work, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it sounded pretty effective. Basically his technique is to get a giant year calendar and - for every day you work on your project - you get to put an "X" over that day. That's it! The secret is that, as soon as you have a few days under your belt you'll have a nice string of X's. The longer the chain gets, the more you'll want it to grow, and the more reluctant you'll be to "break the chain". If you focus on keeping the chain going, you'll force yourself to work on your project a little each day, and that, over time, can turn into quite a lot of progress.

The reason I think it'll be effective for me is because - once I take one day off, it becomes easier to take the next day off, and the next, and the next....for me if I can force myself to work every day and see the satisfaction of progress piling up, I'll become even more motivated over time.


Nasan Hardcastle said...

That sounds like a pretty good idea. Does it make a difference on how much time a person would work each day on the project before they would 'qualify' themselves to put an 'X' on the calendar?

I usually count myself good to go if I can just get anything done relating to my projects each day -whether that be 15 minutes or a couple of hours.

I think the secret is to have frequent exposure to a project or goal -at least once a day.

If I can spend (at the least) 15 minutes working on something per day, it keeps things fresh in my mind. It's then much easier to come back for a much longer session a couple of days later when I have more time.

SparkyMK3 said...

That sounds BRILLIANT! I have GOT to apply this to other advice that I'm going! It may just work!

kegjohns said...

Thanks for coming to Indy! Attending your talk was an amazing opportunity.

T. Cullen Morris said...

I attended your talk at Ball State last night and I just wanted to thank you again for coming out and sharing your insight. It's always inspiring and humbling to see where, as students, we need to be when we enter the creative workforce. In addition it was a great opportunity to get a new perspective on some already familiar topics and information on new topics. I hope we'll see you in Indiana again for another chance to tap into your knowledge.

Adam said...

Thanks for coming out to see us tonight... and for the the autographed Maximus! I'm also impressed you took the time to have a conversation with every student that came up to you. I imagine there was little incentive to speak in Muncie of all places, but I'm very glad you did.

Scott Sackett said...

Great idea, I'm going to start doing that.

I do a variation of that when I have a looming deadline. I'll write a countdown number on the days leading up to the deadline (14, 13, 12, etc.) Then under that number I'll write how many pages I have left to do before I go to bed each night. For shorter comics I'll break it down into how many panels are left.

It very motivating for me to see the time and work left broken down into hard numbers each night before I go to bed.

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