A couple of years ago, I decided to act on my high school dream – making a manga.Though the story was completely different from anything I had ever imagined writing all those years ago. I decided to write what is known as a ‘boys love’ graphic novel – a story about gay (or closeted gay) men. I discovered this genre of story by complete accident and instantly fell in love. My boyfriend asked me once, “Why can’t you just write a normal love story about a guy and a girl?” The answer is simple – there’s an additional dynamic to a boys love story that you can’t find in a straight romance. And these days, gay relationships are more part of the norm, and should be represented as well in entertainment (at least – that’s how I feel). I think my thousands of fans would agree as well (yes I’m bragging).
Over the past two years of creating my comic, CATFISH – I’ve discovered one thing that I feel has made me a better person overall.
Making comics makes me happy. As someone who has battled depression since high school, I believed that the way I was feeling was normal and just how life was. Sometimes my depression would be worse than others – and I was aware that I was not in a healthy mental state, but again – I assumed everyone would go through bouts of sadness as well and that’s ‘just how life is.’
Since I began making comics (my first story was about a girl with depression) those feelings of sadness have disappeared. This is the longest amount of time I haven’t felt like I was in the pit of despair… And my story about the depressed girl became harder and harder to write as I no longer had those dark feelings to portray in my character.
This general happiness has also flowed into other aspects of my life. I feel more satisfied in my relationship with my boyfriend as I truly understand that my happiness must come from within me and I don’t expect him to ‘finally make me happy.’ The joy I get from being with my boyfriend is simply an amazing added bonus to the happiness and fulfillment I already have manifested in my own life.
I also feel way more satisfied at my day job (I’m a pharmacy tech/cashier). I used to feel such frustration from having to go to what I felt was a mundane and ‘worthless’ job but have discovered that I now enjoy (most days…) going to work and interacting with my coworkers and customers. I now find value in my job and enjoy seeing customers regularly. I feel like I am more balanced with my work. I work the day job to pay my bills, and work my passion to create fulfillment in myself and my readers.
Because of this discovery, I am actually content with life. While I of course hope to become super successful with my comic, I also am happy to continue as I am – working the day job to make ends meet, and making comics for my own satisfaction and to entertain others!
So if you are reading this and make comics – I hope you can relate and have found the same joy that I have! If you are just a random reader who has stumbled upon this article by accident (and made it to the end), I want you to know that pursuing your passion, no matter what it is, is a worthwhile endeavor whether you find success or not. If it makes you happy, do it. Your whole perspective will change for the better.