Kirkman also writes two other monthly comics, is developing two new TV shows, and is in post-production for “Air,” the first film he’s written.
“It’s all chaos,” Kirkman tells Business Insider. But, he adds, “I kind of thrive in chaos.”
To maintain his creative energy, he creates a false sense of urgency for himself. He explains what a typical day of writing looks like for him:
I’ll be like, “I want to write 12 pages today,” but I really only need to write like four or five. But if I try to write 12, I might write six or seven. What that does though, is it gives me a crushing sense of failure at the end of every day.
So I’m like, “Oh my God, I didn’t get those 12 pages done. I suck! What is wrong with me?” and the next day I work harder because I have to make up for that unrealistic deadline I didn’t make.
It’s not the most graceful productivity hack, but this self-imposed mind-game helps him focus intensely on his writing when things like press interviews and visits to the set of his show take up hours of his day.
If he’s writing a comic and doesn’t scare himself into finishing as quickly as he can, then writing about zombies goes from being fun to being a chore. “If I don’t finish it in seven days, it’s going to take 20, because I’m like, ‘Ugh! I’m sick of this! I need to move on,'” he says.
To avoid this, he relies on a cycle of setting a goal he can’t make, chastising himself for being inadequate, and then working harder the next day to feel better again.
“And so it’s probably not too good for my psyche, but as far as productivity goes, it seems to help,” he says, laughing.
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