I never really wanted to write anything like this out, but this has been weighing on me really heavily... and for the sake of full transparency with my supporters I think sharing a little information is best. I'll be posting this elsewhere for casual readers and anyone wanting to know why things have been so slow lately.
It’s been a long while since I’ve written much of anything, and indeed it’s been some time since I’ve seen stage light for more than a mere second before vanishing back into unlit corners. I wouldn’t doubt if a few of you noticed, but I figure that I owe those of you invested in my work a meager explanation, at the very least.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but sometime late last year I found myself psychologically, at the bottom of a very deep well. In actuality, I had been there for years without realizing it, having only recently opened my eyes to take it all in. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually drained from years of poor health, neglect, and self-abuse. Suffering from chronic disease, chronic insomnia, and malnourishment, I existed by propping myself up with caffeine, drugs, alcohol, and any form of stimulation I could find. There were so many dark days where I could barely see the point in living anymore, let alone trying to do much of anything.
To make matter worse, fear and anxiety caught up with me and exasperated all of problems. Productivity ground to a near halt as I moved through life with the energy of a shriveled up husk – avoiding my family and running from friends. What little energy I had was spent trying to channel some level of creativity into my projects in spite of it all, but the ambition and reasoning to do so felt so hollow and meaningless to me.
The result of this loss of productivity is that my support plummeted and I’ve lost over a third of my monthly income (a result I feel fully responsible for). When I started working on my comic I had high hopes that my finances would stabilize, maybe even grow, but I’ve learned that a sporadic and unpredictable release schedule does not suit a webcomic, nor does it foster any engagement – and the events of my life did little to encourage me to try harder.
But it isn’t all bad. Otherwise I might not be here to write this. I’ve spent a lot of time in self-examination, sorting through all the muck, trying to get at the root of things, and I’m happy to say that things are finally starting to look up. Some recent changes in my life, and a shift in my way of thinking has been challenging me to do better, and I may, at last (as I knock on wood) have a handle on my health issues. I feel better, anyways, so pity me not.
There are still a lot of things I’m trying to figure out (like how to enjoy my work again), but I feel like this is the final piece in my puzzle. As I write this, I am feeling quite positive about the future, about getting back on track, producing more work and putting out more timely and frequent updates.
To all of my readers, thank-you for sticking with Hot Shit High. To those of you who have been patiently waiting for each and every new page – I apologize. I am grateful for your attention, as frustrating as it might seem at times.
To all my supporters, thank-you for sticking with me, even when it seemed like you’ve received less than what you’ve given me. I still wake up in disbelief for the opportunity you’ve granted me to create my comics. Now it’s on me to figure out how to do better. I still have stories to tell, after all.
Moving forward I’m going to be adding some new features to my Patreon page, but in the mean time, to express my love and gratitude to all of you reading this, please enjoy a drawing of my forever muse, the cheery, bright, and beautiful Sharlene.