I went to a rock concert this week. And for the most part, I cried. Loudly. To dim out the band on stage. To my surprise, most of the crowd soon joined in to share my sorrow. Apparently, loud howling sounds and grown men prancing about in weird clothes wasn’t anybody’s idea of fun.
Though I must admit there were some moments when I wished I was on the stage. Not because I possess any great talent although I could do a great act of a man having seizures due to stage fright, except I’d actually be having the seizures and no one would care.
Try imagining yourself on a stage doing what you like in front of thousands of fans cheering and supporting you as you perform. Screaming your name, swooning at your every move. How does it feel?
I for one will never know. I mean, who wants to see a writer type away on stage. Of all the people I can think of maybe only my mother……. or maybe not.
Hi mum! I just scored a gig. It’s a writing concert at the O2. You’re gonna be there aren’t you?
Gosh! I would love to, but I’m ……. uh… busy!
Busy? I haven’t even told you the date!
Oh, you know how it is. Besides, I have a lot of nothing to catch up on. But you go ahead. Have fun.
As writers we are always behind the curtains. Any success we get is seldom in the immediate aftermath of our best work. You either wait for a movie adaption to get you recognized or wait for the generation to pass so the next one can appreciate what you have done. Take Vladimir Nabokov for example. The book he was chastised and incessantly castigated for after its release is now considered amongst the greatest achievements of literature.
This can be a bit frustrating as a budding writer especially when you compare our situation with all the Youtube and Myspace sensations. Instant fame, unheard of riches, millions of fans and a Superbowl slot all in the space of a few months. For those that don’t know, Superbowl is American for getting paid to do nothing.
Now this may all seem a bit defeatist to you but I guess that’s what this world of instant likes and retweets does to you. Unfortunately, I’m a part of the instant glory brigade too. If it doesn’t happen now it might never happen. Fear. It eats away at me. Am I good enough? Will I be appreciated for my work? Will it be during my time?
For now, I know not the answers to those questions. But I try to keep myself motivated. Afterall, when history is written it’ll be written with our words not some two minute pistachio advertisement on Superbowl.