Obligations

November 12, 2012

I hate starting every recent article with Guys! I now have a webcomic called Seizure Prone! Check it out! But it’s centered around a lot of my ideas for articles here, so bear with me for just one more article or two.

I’ve already received comments that my comic is starting out maybe just a little bit depressing, and my copy-paste response is somewhere along the lines of What do you expect with the subject matter? The more I think about that answer, the more I find it not acceptable.

Every good webcomic that I know of has a main cast which is beloved by readers, and when something bad happens to any of the main cast, it affects the readers personally. I know that I feel like I’m really good friends with a lot of characters in webcomics that I read, and I’ve gone so far as to cry over a few things that have happened to them.

With Seizure Prone I want to eventually reach people emotionally; it might not happen, but that’s one of my goals. If I’m going to seriously pursue that, I believe that I have obligations that I’m failing to meet in the story I have outlined. I have to treat my characters as real people and not, you know, just kill them because I’m like a god in their world.

There’s the way things are and the way things should be. When I started Seizure Prone a little under a month ago, my goal was to show readers how things are because the way things should be aren’t real. In hindsight, that was very cynical of me and I think that the perfect story sits in the middle of those two extremes.

The way things should be can become the way things are in real life, and it’s my job to express that reality as much as the hopeless one. If anything, just because I’d prefer to inspire readers more than make them sad. In fact I think I have an obligation to correctly balance happiness and sadness.

It’s interesting how similar I’m finding webcomics to general blogging in terms of obligations, actually. One of the things that I’ve learned in my two years blogging is that I have to respect my audience. My job blogging is to know who you guys are as a whole and write stuff for you.

I’m effectively obligated to write what you want to read — which is fortunately what I want to write, as being a niche blogger I’ve attracted a niche audience. But if I start writing and publishing content here exclusively for page rank in Google and a lot of one-time readers, I’ll lose you.

(I’ll also lose you if I continue to fail to publish regularly, which is an obligation that I’ve been failing to meet lately.)

I haven’t ventured into other digital professions aside from blogging about film and tech, and now creating/publishing a webcomic. But I’m a betting man and I’d wager that you’ll find obligations in any profession where you have an audience, especially when you’re your own boss. I’d also wager that you should keep that in mind if you hope to have an audience in the future or are trying for one now.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet my obligations going forward, both here and with my webcomic, and other publications that I write for. You are my reason for having an Internet presence, and it would be a huge mistake to make everything for me, even when using my own experiences as examples.

See you tomorrow.

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