Elegy for a Frenemy

Twitter hasn’t caught quite as on fire as some may have suspected, but it has increasingly become the favored terrain of bigots over the past few months. That has only increased over the past few weeks. The damage done by staying on the platform has surpassed its benefits for many, including me, and it’s both necessary and heartbreaking to leave it to its own awful devices.

Twitter is about as far from perfect as you can get, but it had its moments. I made many of my Internet Friends there, learned about worldviews different from mine, and occasionally got more than a few eyeballs on something I’d made. Not often, and rarely more than single-digits, but it was more likely to happen for me on Twitter than any other platform. That leaves me at a difficult juncture.

How does a self-published author and webcomic artist find an audience in the post-Twitter era? I barely knew how to do it during the Twitter era, but I’ve gone from “I need to climb Mount Everest with my hands tied behind my back” to “I need to climb Mount Everest with my hands tied behind my back and blindfolded” in terms of getting from where I am to where I want to be. I have a few concrete goals for my art over the next few years, and doing it without Twitter is going to be that much harder. Maybe I’ll just go viral (positive) on TikTok and solve all my problems after I get over worrying about people talking about my persistent seborrheic dermatitis if I put my face on camera. That sounds easy, right?

(For some reason, I’m okay with it when I’m streaming. Brains are weird.)

With all of that said, I hope it’s not surprising if I say that I’ve been overwhelmed and apathetic lately. I’ve bitten off more than I can chew since The Hartvane Chronicles came out and I’ve been feeling the toll for the past few weeks. I was planning on taking a hiatus in a few weeks, but I’m learning that I need a mini-break right now and a big break after it.

What does that mean?

  • The companion comic for The Hartvane Chronicles that I was posting on Twitter is taking a break. I thought I could draw two comics a week again and, in my current mental state, I can’t. I want to finish that comic, and it only has a few pages left, but I can’t pile that up on myself right now. I’ll finish it when I finish it.
  • The Guildmistress will stay on schedule, hopefully, though I might be a few days late a time or two. Might skip a week. It’s so close to the end, and I know that if I stop, it’ll be twenty times harder when I start it again. I honestly don’t know how many people are still following it, but it’s an important story to me, and I want to finish it.
  • Twitch streaming will probably still happen, though I reserve the right to change my mind about that, and to end streams early if I’m not feeling it. I guess this isn’t different from how things usually are, but I wanted to put it in writing.
  • Patreon Pals’ goodies should still be on schedule. The Decembertimes postcard is sketched, and with the Hartvane Chronicles comic on the sideline, I should have more time to get that done and get it printed. Fingers crossed!
  • The comic after The Guildmistress is still planned to happen, but I’m rethinking how I’ll distribute it. I think the one-page-a-week webcomic is the opposite of what the algorithm likes, so I’m considering how to schedule it so that people actually see it. I really, really like the story as it’s shaping up so far. Look forward to it, please!
  • The next book in The Hartvane Chronicles is still in the planning phases, and I hope to write the first draft in January. A lot of that depends on how recovered I am after this semi-hiatus.

That’s probably not all the news that’s fit to print, but it’s all that I can think of. If you have any questions, please let me know.

I’m not leaving the internet or anything. Maybe I should to refocus and such, but that’s not what I’m doing at the moment. I’m grieving the loss of a terrible, beautiful social media platform and trying to figure out how to live on here without it.

Thank you for going on the journey with me.