from my Tumblr, following Coelasquid's comments about work schedule on comics.
My solution to the problem of completing work without sacrificing well-being was to set realistic daily goals for myself. I can't be one of those people who updates constantly. At least not with the working environment I currently live in. Full time job plus freelance plus pets means not much free time to myself. And some free time is spent on non-art activities. If you don't take non-art breaks, your brain starts tunnel-visioning on artwork and stops receiving new input. New input is essential for growth as an artist. You gotta exercise, you gotta read, you gotta talk to people and socialize and go out to a bar even though you don't like bars simply because your characters would go to a bar. So you gotta put yourself in positions and places a little outside of your comfort zone (safely) so your experiences become fodder for more stories.
With all that in mind, daily or even weekly updates become unrealistic [for me]. When I tried to live by an update schedule, I found myself sinking deep into a creative funk. For the level of effort and thought I want to show, I couldn't make those updates on time. And feeling like I'd failed as a story-teller and artist, I became increasingly disappointed with my work.
What got me out of my funk was finding more realistic goals. Committing myself to small, daily accomplishments drastically improved my mood. No longer was my worth as an artist tied to how much work I put out each day, but instead whether I could complete one piece of the puzzle slowly being assembled. Line a panel, fix a panel. Color a panel, shade a panel. Write another paragraph. Small, simple goals that are easy to meet and, more importantly, give me a good stopping point. If I've completed my daily goal, it means I can spend time expanding my mind in other ways. If I have the energy to keep going, so be it, but I've volunteered for that extra work now. It's my choice to do twice or three times as much work in a day, not out of some moral obligation. And given how readily I'll destroy my health to keep working, setting small goals that also function as stopping points is muy muy importante.
Artists need to stop treating their work as worthless unless they accomplish superhuman feats of endurance. You hurt yourself that way: mentally, physically, and emotionally. The vast majority of art blocks I've experienced were the result of viewing everything I accomplished as worthless until the entire project was done.
We artists and writers need to look at our work like scaling a rock wall. If you look at the top tens or hundreds of feet above you and say THAT is your goal, then you might psyche yourself out. But by concentrating on just the next rock, and then the next and the next, all while keeping that larger goal at the back of your mind, you'll stop feeling overwhelmed. You'll start feeling better about the little bit you've done. Every little step is an accomplishment; every ledge you grab takes you that much closer to the top. And if you plan your journey to the top well, you'll end up meeting deadlines and feeling great while doing it!
Enjoy the process! We're artists, we love what we do while doing it! Or else why did we pick up that pen in the first place?