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How to start a comic when you’re overwhelmed

So you want to start a comic, or a webcomic, but you feel overwhelmed by all that you need to do? So up until this point, you haven’t started yet?

You are not alone. In fact, I was the exact same way years ago. Starting, then running into obstacles. Trying to find a better way of working, trying new things all the time. At one point I was afraid that my comic would never get made.

Making comics should not be this hard, so I want to give you three tips that will help you to get yourself to start a comic.


Rather want to watch the video version of this post? Here is the video. Or, if you’d rather read, just scroll on!


Step one to help you get started on your own comic is to figure out exactly what to do.

One of the reasons why you might not have started your comic yet, might be because you’re not exactly clear on what you need to be doing. Your brain doesn’t know what the next step to take is. And if that’s the case, if you’re a little vague on what you need to do, then your brain will automatically start resisting working on it.

So the very first step in getting yourself to start your comic is to outline exactly what you need to do.

If you’re not exactly sure on how to start a comic, there’s a lot of resources out there.

If I would start a comic from scratch and I didn’t have much experience, I would get something that lays out exactly what to do in order to make a comic.

I have a video on my Youtube channel that I made back in 2020 that will explain the very first questions that you need to ask yourself the moment you start a comic.

There’s also books on making comics or about the various different disciplines that make up the comic process. You could read a book about writing a story, for example. Or study how to draw better, or how to create amazing compositions.

Of course there’s also courses that you can take, like my course, How to Start a Comic that will take you through the entire process of comic creation.

And if you want to get started really quickly, I have a free checklist for you that you can download here that will lay out all the steps that you need to take in order to start and create your comic.

Step two is to forget about the big whole and focus on the first step of your plan

After you have made a clear step by step on how to make comics figure out the very first step that you need to take, and then break that step down into much smaller steps until you’re not overwhelmed by the task and it’s doable for you.

For example, the first step on my checklist is to brainstorm or mind map what kinds of stories, genres, worlds and characters you love. This is to help you figure out what kind of stories you like to tell. But let’s say this step still overwhelms you. That’s totally fine. Nothing to be worried about. But in this instance I recommend, instead of starting brainstorming immediately, to think to yourself: “what do I need in order to start brainstorming about the things I love?”

The answer might be to look through your bookcase at all your comics that you’ve collected, looking at your DVD collection, or your last purchases online for books, movies or anything like that to see what you gravitate towards.

close up shot of comic books
Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Pexels.com

Do this for every single step that you run into that’s overwhelming to you. Break it down further and further until you have a small little piece of an action that you can take that’s not overwhelming to you.

And once you’re super specific and very clear on what that action is, your brain will go: “Oh, that’s something I can do!” And it will stop resisting.

The third step is to plan regular time into your schedule to work on your comic.

Whenever the steps are clear and your brain is clear on what it needs to do, you still need to schedule comic work into your planner.

You can have all the best intentions in the world, but when you’re waiting to get inspired, or when you’re waiting to find the right time or a big block of time. When you stall untill you’re less scared, less overwhelmed, and less intimidated by making a comic because you’ve not done it before, then you will keep feeling stuck.

So plan your comic time in your planner. Look only at the first action that you need to take. Don’t think: “Oh, this is a large project! I have a very large story and I am going to make 100 pages.” Don’t think about all of that. Just focus on the next step, plan that next step in your planner, in your schedule. And then at that moment, when it comes, actually do it.

Once you dedicate a specific time, or a specific day, for your comic work you’re much more likely to do it.

Don’t plan huge amounts of time either. Remember, you do not want to get overwhelmed.

So if you have 20 minutes a day, or even 20 minutes a few times a week, that’s all you need to get started. Many small, regular steps make for big leaps.

Often times we wait until we have time but that will result in working on your comic maybe once a month.

Last but not least: taking regular action will actually give yourself the confidence to keep going. You prove to yourself that you’re able to work on your comic regularly, that you’re able to do the actions that you need to. That you’re clear where you are going and what you need to be doing. And eventually it’ll become routine and you don’t even have to think about it.

photo of woman sitting by the table while writing
Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA on Pexels.com

So those are the three tips. To recap:

  1. Get a plan outlined so you know everything that will need to be made down the line.
  2. Take that very first action. The very first step that you need to take and then break that down into something that’s doable for you.
  3. Plan that action in your schedule. So you’re much more likely to do it.

If you only have 20 minutes a day, that is enough. Just make sure that you consciously work on it, you consciously plan it in and that you actually set the intention of doing it.

Again, you can use my checklist to have the first step already done for you. It’s called “the ultimate checklist for starting your comic”.

You’ll also get some emails with some actions in the coming days that you can take. So I definitely recommend downloading that.

I hope this post inspires you to get started on your comic! Maybe today! Leave a comment down below if you do!