Three years ago, I started a webcomic called Creative Release on deviantART. Thanks to a bunch of friends spreading the word (thanks, Jocelyn!), and because the storytelling was good, Creative Release did pretty well as far as I’m concerned.
For the first time in my life, an original (non-fanfiction) narration of mine managed to gather the gazes of people I didn’t already know. To grow a dedicated audience of people who actually cared about what I had to say, and weren’t here “due to the fandom”. To me, this was extremely exciting, in no small part because narration and creation had always been central to my life goals.
The hard part came next. When I started Creative Release, I had no idea what I was doing or where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to expand on the concept of creative release coined by Teloka in her Artists at the Ready comic, but beyond that, I was basically stuck with a random idea I’d half-heartedly thrown on the wall, that had unexpectedly pierced right through it where hundreds of other ideas had simply bounced off without leaving any trace. I had started Creative Release unprepared.
Now, I’m not going to pretend starting a story unprepared is never a good idea. Actually, I’m going to state I’m good at improvisation, and starting stories unprepared is something I do a lot as a rule of thumb. Creative Release contains a few really great ideas, and its narration has generally been considered good to great.
On the other hand, the way I reacted to my unpreparedness very definitely wasn’t optimal.
Creative Release’s story revolved around an avatar of mine having accidentally caused a catastrophic incident in the city of Paris, and created a brand new multiverse friends of said avatar got trapped in, or willingly travelled to.
The mistake I made was to make Creative Release too personal. Or, to be more accurate: I put elements of my life in Creative Release that I am now very uncomfortable writing about (because I’ve vastly outgrown them, and they feel dumb and childish to me now). Because of this, and because of a bunch of other reasons, I eventually stopped updating Creative Release altogether and it has been frozen for over eight months now.
And thus, I started pacing around in my room. I had let go of Creative Release, but that obviously didn’t mean I was done with storytelling - I most likely won’t ever be done with storytelling.
In December, I threw a story idea revolving around a magical girl war veteran’s dealings with post-traumatic stress disorder at my trusted friends, and they went “hey, that one is good”. And I decided to run with it. For the last few months, I’ve been working on what came to be called Nomashora, adding characters, plot arcs, worldbuilding and scenes to its universe bible. And today, March 15th, I am proudly presenting its first update, hosted on this brand new site (which, coincidentally, I finished coding a few days ago).
Hopefully, this time I’ll manage not to drown in burnout scenarios again (if you’ve followed Creative Release for any amount of time, you most likely know what I’m talking about), but I’ve taken steps to try and ensure this doesn’t happen. Assuming everything works as expected, I will be updating Nomashora every week on Monday. I’m looking forward to showing you my new story baby!
Anyway. First update is here.