Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A (Platonic) Love Letter to Faith Erin Hicks

Dear Faith (and other inspiring creators like you),

I'm writing this open letter because I've tried to say this in a tweet and there's just not enough room. So I figured a blog post gave me enough space to say what I need to say.

I'm an aspiring author. I've wanted to write books since I was old enough to read. That's still my dream.  In particular, I want to write Young Adult books. (Side note: Congratulations on writing one of your own. I'm sure it is amazing.) Like I said, books and writing have always been my passion. But I'm also a procrastinator. And, as I'm sure you are well aware, just because we love to do something doesn't mean that it comes easily to us. It's hard work reaching your dreams and I'm reminded of that on a daily basis.

So why am I writing this? To thank you.

Thank you for all of the amazing artwork you create. Thank you for helping shape stories that resonate with their readers and cultivate imaginations. Thank you for working your ass off bringing beauty into the world. (And thank you for writing a comic that made me want to ship Suki and Sokka, though I will go down with my Toph/Sokka ship.) But I want to thank you specifically for working hard every day on your comics and for tweeting about that.

It feels like a small thing, especially in the face of all the other awesome things you've been busy accomplishing. I mean, you got an Eisner for Superhero Girl this year, and here I am thanking you for tweeting about your work.

But I do want to thank you for those tweets. You tweet quite a bit about your daily struggle with comics, about how you love it but never have as much time as you want to work on it. You tweet about how you wish sleeping and eating didn't get in the way of your creating and about how you hate having to turn things down because there just isn't time for you to draw everything. You tweet about how you wrote a novel during your airport visits because you're drawing comics the rest of the time, but you can't bring your Cintiq to the airport.

And that inspires me. It reminds me that writing is what I love. Writing is my drawing. (Drawing pisses me off too much to be my actual drawing. It's not fun for me, it's just frustrating.) Seeing how dedicated you are to what you love, how dedicated you are to your dream job, reminds me just how much I want my own dream job . . . and I can't get there if I don't have that kind of dedication that makes me write until my hands cramp up and my brain gives out. I can't get there if I don't make myself sit down and write every day. I can't share my stories with the world if I don't ever get to typing.

So thank you, Faith, for reminding me with your tweets and your dedication that we have to work for our dreams and that it's a pleasure to run after them. It's hard and exhausting sometimes, but it's totally worth it if you're willing to go the extra mile.

I'll stop writing this now and get back to revising my actual work in progress and you can go back to drawing more comics instead of reading this rambling love letter from a twenty-something girl in Seattle who's still sitting at her work table in her pajamas.

Thanks again,
Kirsten Erin