A couple of things about this comic.

First off, it’s title is lifted from a tweet by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Shamelessly, I might add.

Secondly, I had intended on posting a different comic today, but my tablet pen literally busted open while I was working on it this morning. Instead of be deterred by this unfortunate happenstance, I sucked it up, picked up paper and ink, and got to work doing something totally unplanned.

Thirdly, if you follow me on any social media (or actually know me), you know that my love of Hamilton is practically unbounded. Music affects me very deeply, and Hamilton was another one of those things that I listened to in the right place at the right time. It picked me up out of a terrible spot, it made me think about myself, about who I wanted to be, about the stories I wanted to tell. A lot of people pitch it as “a musical about Alexander Hamilton’s life, and it’s hip hop?”, but I can’t help but feel like that’s an oversimplification. It’s about so much more: it’s about the validity of dreams, about how ambition is both a blessing and a curse, about how your strengths can both elevate and destroy you. It’s about the control, and the lack there of, that you have over your own life. The question that is constantly asked throughout the musical is one that has rung in my ears ever since I can remember: “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”

I can’t help but relate to the work ethic portrayed by both Hamilton, the character, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and actor. The solitude, the frantic need to create, to stave off the ticking clock as much as possible. I remember listening to Non-Stop for the first time and breaking down, saying “how do you know?” out loud to my empty room. This week, the novel about the journey of this musical and all the people around it released, titled Hamilton: The Revolution. In it is not only the story of this musical, but the story of the story. It once again reminded me of the energy that drives me as an artist, that drives me as a person. (I wrote a thing about that after I first listened to Hamilton here, if you’re so inclined.)

Both Hamilton the person and Hamilton the character were verbose people, to the point where he really didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. So it’s the moments of silence that he has throughout his life and in the musical that sometimes speak the loudest. One of these moments is right after his learning of John Laurens’ death: it is met with silence, bewilderment, and then finally a simple statement: “I have so much work to do.”

I don’t want to elevate myself to the same level as the man who wrote 51 essays in six months to make the The Federalist Papers, who practically single-handedly built the financial system that the United States is built upon. But that mentality, that’s why I can’t stop. Telling stories, whether they be big or small, personal or fantastical, it’s the core part of who I am. When I say I have to do these things, I mean it’s as necessary to my being as breathing.

It’s been a rough week. I had multiple interviews that fell through, multiple rejection letters; I am so frustrated on the lack of control that I have on my life. But I have this. And there is so much work to do.

(Next week won’t be this heavy, I promise.)