If You Need an Audience All is Lost! (or it may be a little more difficult)

by Chris McGinty of AccordingToWhim.com

I was reading a Twitter post of a frustrated writer. She
expressed that it felt useless. I wrote this as a reply:

“Careful what you say. A little green dude will appear and
make you pull your X-Wing out of the swamp with your mind.
Take a few months to write
without expectation. Call it a learning and exploring time. I have the most fun
writing when I’m just playing and learning.”
Ok, part of that was silly, but
part of it I felt might be helpful.
Later, I saw that Christopher
Mance II had written a blog post, and it was right along those lines.
I’m becoming more aware of the
impatience that many of us feel, especially where online notoriety is
concerned. I saw an odd post that I’m going to have to paraphrase here, because
I didn’t comment. It was something like, “Why can’t I be famous already? I hate
capitalism.” I wanted to reply something rude like, “Tell me how you feel about
capitalism when you are famous and they want half your paycheck in taxes to pay
for social programs,” but I was good little tweeter and kept it to myself.
I get it though. I was expecting
hard work, but I really thought I’d be closer to the age that Neil Gaimen broke
through than the age that Jean M. Auel broke through. I’m impatient even at
this moment to see some sort of progress in the land of internet publishing. I’ve
been involved in a public access show turned YouTube upload since the early
90s. We’ve had a website for nearly two decades. We have an audio show that
will be celebrating 21 years (Blackjack Anniversary here we come!) in January
2020. We’ve published a card game. Nathan published a short story in an
anthology. I write something daily 99% of the time. Strangely, I’m ok with
capitalism. But that’s off the subject.
I think that the struggle for
fame is particularly frustrating, because it doesn’t really seem incremental
until later, and even then it’s somewhat an illusion. Take a game as big as
Magic: The Gathering, and they’ve even seen years of player decline (though
maybe not recently). It just doesn’t hurt them as much, because they still have
millions of players. When you have three people intermittently reading your
stuff, and one of them drops out, and you didn’t even know they were reading to
begin with… it’s frustrating.
I will probably always be of the
opinion that if you’re creative only for the audience and the money, you’d be
better finding something else to do. Writing takes time. Writing can be lonely.
Sometimes what you write isn’t even any good. And guess what? If you become
famous as a writer, people will still expect you to write. If you just want the
quick money to retire, do something else.
If you find yourself booting up
your computer or your phone frequently, because you need to get some thoughts
down, or if you feel the push from time to time to just spend a few hours
thinking, planning, editing, and creating, then enjoy the writing process. Keep
writing. Keep releasing your material. But do it for yourself. When you get
true fans, they’ll look back on everything you’ve done, and be like, “Why didn’t
I find them sooner?” It’ll still be worth it even if it’s years into the
Chris McGinty is a blogger who
really doesn’t like the idea of a socialist method of choosing who becomes
famous. Becoming wealthy never worked with lottery tickets. Why would becoming
famous work with a government committee? This week on American Icon.

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