Please Kill Me,
Happy 4th of July, my temporarily patriotic trifecta of thespians (got a little Dr. Seuss there). Well, it’s the one holiday (in my homeland the U.S.A), that rivals Christmas (strictly in terms of brand recognition). The burgers are grilling, the sodas are popping, and once again Uncle 80 proof is throwing up in the bushes during the fireworks *tears* “Oh, America. What greatness you’ve wrought”.
Okay, now that we’re done deep throating the flag, let’s get down to some literary business here. This one is less of the mental (as the last post was) and more of a tangible comment – mostly pertaining to – the Uphill battle that is succeeding as an author.
As always, there are no magic beans here kids, just some circumstantial advice from someone on the same battlefield as you.
So the tides change seemingly daily. What do I mean by tides? I’m glad you asked. By tides, I mean the preference of the reader. As writers’ our job is varied to an almost impossible degree. We are tasked with creating more of what the reader wants, while simultaneously being challenged to forge new ground, and finding the next “big” thing.
Now, practically speaking this is kind of a farce. It is such because there are very few people who can focus equally on both the present and the future (this fact is doubled-down for writers). I’m not saying that you can’t do it, I’m simply pointing out that whatever result you get, will never be as good as it needs to be to make an impact.
You either focus on improving (and perfecting) the current state of literature, or you’re forging new ground altogether. Neither can be completed with partial focus. And even so, (I’ll reiterate), whatever spawns from your eclectic sprawling – will undoubtedly be less than impressive.
*Sidenote-Aside from all of that, there is NOT ONE author on this planet concurrently working on every genre. (Refer back to the tides). Keep in mind that no amount of talent alone (in and of itself) will help to get you where you feel destined to go. For success, we need the right work, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, and of course a teaspoon of luck.*
I’ll state it again the task we face is damn near IMPOSSIBLE. But that’s not why we do it. As the lion in the grainy fields of the safari, we train for our moment. Patiently mastering every skill necessary, painstakingly surveying the savannah, awaiting our gazelle (the gazelle is a metaphor for “our moment”). We strike when it’s our time too. I do warn you, that if you’re trying to chase down every single running prey out there you’ll catch none (and die hungry).
Everyone understand the lion metaphor? Good, if not go watch the Lion King (and after you’ve wasted those hours re-read it.).
The path of a writer can be a tiresome one. Despite that, the reward that can be achieved outweighs any risk. Understand the game your playing, lest you be disappointed and dismayed. The tides change, the people change, and the rules change. The one thing that must remain unhindered – is your focus. To do that, you must have one.
You will go through many iterations of yourself, but hold your focus steady in your mind, so that whatever project comes to fruition- is the best version of itself. Until that moment, just be aware – that the path is Uphill.
Happy 4th of July,
P.S. – I NOWHERE NEAR covered what I wanted to. This may be the topic for the week.