I return

May 12, 2008 by Tim

Well, I’m back. Got home from Florida a few hours ago. I meant to make a news post before I left, but sort of got wrapped up in some stuff. And with that, my vacation is officially over and I’m all out of pre-drawn comic strips. It’s back to work now!

I think it’s safe to say that I hate Orlando. And not just for the regular reasons. I can ignore the fact that it’s like driving through one giant commercial. No, I hate Orlando because of its repeated attempts to kill me. I’ve gone there three times in the past four years, twice on business, once for pleasure, and all three times Orlando has caused me to fall ill.

My first trip down there was met with some sort of flu, and when I ventured there last winter I was struck by what I can only assume was food poisoning. This time around, we hadn’t been off the plane for more than fifteen minutes when my girlfriend began to feel nauseous and sick. I thought I’d been spared, until the following morning when I woke up with a head-splitting migraine that lasted four hours.

You’d think it would just be easier to shoot my plane down as soon as I flew over Orlando airspace, but no, they wait until you’ve arrived, and then make you so miserable you want to leave. It’s a subtle, but effective brand of warfare. Sort of like a giant sign that says “New Englanders Not Wanted.”

However, despite the city’s best attempts to ruin my health, we still had a great time. Expedition Everest was one hell of a ride, if you ever get the chance.

As I’m sure you all noticed, and as per my announcement last week, there was no comic on Saturday. The response I received to the announcement that I was suspending Saturday updates was largely supportive and understanding, and I really appreciate that. I meant to do so last week, but I want to take a moment to give a bit better explanation for my reasoning for this.

When I first started the comic, I was updating seven days week. It didn’t take long to start to burn out at that rate. So I dropped down to five days, and then to three, and finally back up to four days a week where I’ve been for the past four years or so. Four updates a week was the sweet spot, I found, the balance between updating as often as I could without getting to stressed or frustrated or burned out.

And over the last six years that I’ve been doing this, Ctrl+Alt+Del has continued to grow steadily, and I’ve continued to take on additional projects and branch out. It keeps me pretty busy, I take Saturdays off and work the other six days, and it’s not a problem. I haven’t really had a problem juggling all of my projects, the comic, Winter-een-mas, Digital Overload, the animated series, the comic book, etc.

Where the problem does arise, however, is whenever I attempt to introduce any outside projects into my schedule. I have nearly two dozen separate side-comic projects that I’ve attempted to get rolling over the past six years, and while they start strong, it’s never long before they’re steamrolled by Ctrl+Alt+Del stuff that needs my attention, and pushed to the back burner where they’re soon abandoned.

The decision to drop an update day was not as easy one. I love Ctrl+Alt+Del and after six years I still look forward to drawing it each day. On the other hand, there are other stories and other projects I’d love to work on as well. There’s one project in particular that I’ve been working on since before I ever started Ctrl+Alt+Del, and that’s the one I’m hoping to finally get some real progress on now.

So, my idea is to try dropping an update day, and see what I can make happen with an extra day each week to dedicate solely to another project. If I can get it rolling, then great. If not, then clearly lack of time is not the only hurdle I’m facing with getting this project off the ground. If I don’t feel I’m making any progress with the extra time, then I’ll pick up Saturday updates again.

Ctrl+Alt+Del will always receive the majority of my attention, and I will continue to create this comic for many, many years to come. And I’ll never drop below three updates a week. But I appreciate you guys being so supportive. I know a lot of you will miss the Saturday update, as I’ll miss drawing it, but I really feel this is something I need to try out.

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.

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