It’s a fact that, for every writer who ‘makes it’, for every King, Cornwell and Rowling who achieves fame, acclaim and wealth there are thousands who fall by the wayside. Some give up, some keep plodding along without ever being able to give up their day job. It’s a grim reality not just in writing or acting or music but in any chosen career path. Not every engineer can be Ross Brawn, there are thousands of Bill Gate wannabe’s out there but only one Bill Gates. But that doesn’t stop us trying because we are, after all, the dreamers.
The reality of self-publishing is a whole lot of work for uncertain returns and (as I’ve said in the past) the only way to achieve anything is to put in the effort, make the appearances and go out and sell yourself and your material to the world. It’ll be taxing, at times demoralising. Don’t read the reviews or, if you do, don’t let them stop you.
Hope comes from strange places and, for me, hope comes from YouTube. I’m not saying I go and watch inspirational videos when I’m down (although I do) but I do read the trends that I see in channels that have made the transition from YouTube to TV and the increased demand for content on those services.
So, this does hinge alot upon your idea of success being your works transitioning from the page to the screen but there are parallels to be drawn, here goes. Back when TV was first introduced audiences who could afford a set were treated to a couple of hours of programming a day but, as demand increased so did the number of viewing hours and the demand for content. I remeber when domestic British televisions only had four channels and the release of Channel Five was a huge thing for me when I was young, now I have satellite and a thousand channels and radio stations to choose from without even touching on YouTube and Netflix. Still the number of providers and channels is increasing and every one of them needs content. As to garnering hope from YouTube, the number of shows I’m seeing that have recently made the transition has surprised me. Forged with Steele, Man at Arms, even Doctor Pimple Popper (not one I commonly watch myself) have been drafted and, historically let us not forget, the number of films and TV programmes that have come from literature makes up a serious percentage of programming (every generation since the beginning has multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice to choose from).
What I’m saying is that the demand for screen content forces producers to go out and search for creators, writers and dreamers. Demand for new concepts and new stories is growing and (according to some sources) the sale of print books shows steady increase. Much of that is driven by people reading the books their favourite shows are based on and then reading more because they enjoy it and it’s in that market that your readership is waiting for your stories.
We have to, at times, measure our expectations but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the time we shouldn’t shoot for the stars. If we fall short at least we made part of the journey, at least we tried and, you never know, all it takes is the right person to read your novel for you to get a call from Tinseltown. I know I’m waiting for mine.