It is day 5 of the AtoZChallenge, and that means the letter ‘E’ is up to bat.
We live in a world driven by speed. A world that offers almost everything instantly, and were our expectations are that should a result or a response not come instantly, or close to it, then something has failed.
You send an email to a company, they don’t respond within minutes, they have failed. Why? You mail got there instantly, you don’t have to wait any more for them to receive it, so therefore their response should also be automatic. Makes sense, right? No, I didn’t think so either.
There is no easy way to make yourself a success. Hard work is what it takes. Hard work, dedication to the cause and accepting that it will take time. You will have successes and failures before you get there. The easy road, the easy way out that so many people seek, does not exist.
Look at television, most primetime slots are dominated by reality shows. Each one offering a bunch of individuals that chance to ‘realize a dream’. Even those that fall before the end often find themselves receiving their five minutes of fame simply for the fact that they failed.
These shows are dangerous because they are teaching people that all you need to do is get on one of these shows and the rest will be easy.
The music industry is always the one that I look at the most with this regard.
How many bands practice in garages and play gigs across the country in the weekend, performing in back street pubs and clubs to the local drunks and a barman?
What impression are we setting for the next generation, those who are now coming of age, and the next one that is close on their heels? How many know what it means to pay your dues. How many understand the real hard work and passion it takes to make something of yourself.
Earlier I said the easy road didn’t exist. That is true, but as a society, we are rapidly beating a new path through the bush, and before long, with enough people trampling their way along, the easy road will be there for one and all.
Dreams, and hard earned success, the true kind of success, what will happen to them? The easy route is a dangerous one, because it makes people soft, it makes us lazy. Why be hungry and fight your way to the top when you can just follow in the footsteps of the others and have things as good as handed to you?
When people talk about writing, how often do we hear those ‘non-writers’ in our circles say how much they would love to write a book, how easy it would be if they had the time to write it? Just imagine it now, if there was a show on a Saturday night that would see the winning author get a 3 book deal with a big time agency? Imagine the clamour and the rush to get picked, to have your chance at fame. I don’t know about you, but I would never go for it. No matter how far I came, whatever I achieved, it would be hollow, because I didn’t earn it, not really. I took the easy option. Why? Because it is quicker, it doesn’t cost you as much.
We have already seen this to a degree with the birth of self-publishing. The markets being flooded with sub-quality fiction, written and published without a second thought to the process. To the true requirements of our craft.
This first wave has been survived, and those that were not truly hungry for it, but did it because they could, are falling away. Some have made some money off it, but fair enough. There will be a second wave, however, and a third after that. As long as there is an easy route there will be plenty of lazy people queueing up to take it.
I am not saying all self-published authors are lazy for taking this route. I have done it myself. I hope those that truly understand this industry will see this and not take offense. For those that see it and feel I have ruffled your feathers, then maybe, just maybe, I am right. How hungry are you?