If there’s one thing I didn’t expect from running my own comics journalism newsletter, now that I’m five weeks in, it’s just how much brain space it would take up on a regular basis.
When I was first considering the possibility, the math in my head was pretty simple: “What if I did roughly the equivalent of a couple of longform THR pieces a week? That would only take the same amount of time as it would to do a couple of THR pieces per week!” Oh, what a sweet and innocent child I was, on a number of fronts.
Firstly, there’s the work behind the scenes to make sure everything happens and happens on time, given the Wednesday and Friday schedule that I’ve set for myself. (Why those days? Because Wednesday is still New Comics Day for all publishers aside from DC, and because Friday is when the THR newsletter goes out, and it feels like a good place to send a “week round-up” mailing. I wish there was more thinking behind it than that.) Chasing up stories and sources and trying to make everything happen for those two days is more time consuming than I’d initially expected.
Also more time consuming: the formatting, editing (as much as I edit), and image work that I’d previously been lucky enough to have others handle while at THR or other sites. I should, in theory, put “promotion” here, but I really haven’t promoted the newsletter in any appreciable manner. I should fix that, I know.
Worst of all, each and every newsletter has run roughly twice the length of a long form THR piece — more, on the occasions where I’ve ended up rewriting at the last minute and essentially junking an entire draft, which has happened more than once. There’s no reason for this, other than my own head: I am my own worst enemy, for sure.
In terms of workload, it’s actually closer to the equivalent of writing a longform THR piece every day of the week, on top of whatever else I’m supposed to be handing in as a freelance project. And yet, despite all of this, it’s still one of the most thrilling things I’ve done professionally in a long time.
Like I said, I’m my own worst enemy.