A lot of people find quantifying the creative process to be distasteful somehow, but I dig hour logging — I keep track of how much time I’m spending on most of my projects. It gives me a way to predict timelines for similar projects in the future, and there’s something geekily satisfying about all that addition at the end of a day. It didn’t really work well with the movie project I’m working on, too many people and too many working styles, but it worked well with Shannon and I on the Sword of My Mouth graphic novel.
[Shannon, by the way, is currently on tour on the west coast — she’s doing a book launch at Lucky’s on Aug. 24th in case you live in Vancouver!]
So here’s a breakdown of how much time we each spent working on the book.
Jim’s hours: 283.8 (writing: 23%, revisions and editing: 16%, publicity: 20%, publishing business: 38%)
Shannon’s hours: 1000+ (drawing)
So basically, Shannon put in 80% of the time even considering I took on publicity and publishing roles. (If I was just doing the writing, it would have been closer to a 90/10% split.)
We’re dividing the money we make 80/20%, but it still feels weird. I mean, I knew it took a long time to draw, but it really takes a long time to draw. This wonky division of labour is something to keep in mind when if you’re ever approaching someone to draw a comic. Even if you’re a slow writer and they’re a fast drawer, you’re still asking them to spend much more time realizing something than you spent creating it. What are you bringing to the project beyond amazing ideas and sparkling prose?