I tried inking digitally for the first time last year, and got through about 12 days of Inktober before I stopped. I simply had to let it go--my day job demanded more time in October than I could allocate to participating.
It took a long time for me to come to the conclusion that stopping was okay, because I really felt I'd crashed and burned and failed. I felt like, if I couldn't even do Inktober how could I possibly be able to handle being a professional? And since everyone else seems to be doing it around their professional responsibilities, what does that say about me?
It has taken me a year to come to the understanding that Inktober is what you want it to be. Seeing Jake's personable nature in the SVSLearn videos has (somehow, for whatever reason) given me "permission" to realize that he's simply wanting people to play and explore and maybe discover something new. That's all. And if you want to turn it into a "thing" (however you want to use it), hey--he's down with whatever. It's not like this thing is like playing with fire. Some people use it to deep dive into practicing their skills, some use it to promote themselves, some use it to try something new, some for... well, whatever. It's all good.
And it's all up to you. I wonder if the "pressure" one might feel to participate isn't necessarily strictly about Inktober as much as it's about seeing a whole bunch of artists pile on to something and feeling pressured to participate or be left out. Sorta like <big booming voice> "POST ON INSTAGRAM CONSTANTLY" is a thing for artists...
I'm gonna do maybe one a week, I dunno. If one of the prompts tickles my fancy I may play. But that's it. I have a very busy schedule and there ain't no time for guilt. I think we can all agree Jake would be the FIRST one to urge you to not let it turn into that. It's awesome that so many have the opportunity to do it, and wonderful they choose to invest so much into it. Kudos to them. I, personally, just can't be one of those folks. And I, for one, am really REALLY gonna enjoy being stimulated by all the incredible creativity being spawned. It's gonna be fun to sit back and watch the feed, ya know? I mean, who else can appreciate the artistry like we fellow artists, right? That's my hope this year: to be a phenomenal cheerleader. I'm looking forward to that.