I have found that both fear and passion will send me dashing out of bed, desperate to make as much stuff as I can before I have to go back to sleep.

Fear is a genuinely motivating force in my life. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve gotten done because I was trying to distract myself from the anxious chatter in my head or because an internal voice reminded me that I was going to die someday and that any time I wasted was a drawing that would never get drawn or a comic strip that would never get written.

There is definite value in fear, but unfortunately it’s a dirty, exhausting fuel and ultimately rusts out the engine it’s powering.

Passion is more fun and sustainable, but unlike fear it has to be actively fostered. Sitting idly generates fear, but I don’t think anyone becomes passionate about something by just sitting on the couch.

In practice, both of these fuels work in tandem to keep me constantly moving. Fear often kicks the process off, sending me running headlong into doing something I’m passionate about, but since I don’t like fear mucking up my work by causing me to make timid creative choices, I do my best to throw the fear out the window and operate purely on passion once I’ve gotten started.

Ultimately fear and passion are the same restless energy, channeled through different emotional pipes. I think, with enough awareness, fear can be rerouted and turned into passion. After all, they are each opposing reactions to uncertainty and new possibilities.

I’m taking some time off for the Holidays. Come back on January 15th for the next page!