The only reason anyone writes is to be noticed.
However noble and righteous any writer may wish to be, everybody wants to to hit the big time: get your work noticed, find a publisher, be able to legitimately say you’re in print (real, not digital because that doesn’t count, any idiot can self-publish.) At the back of every writer’s mind is the desire to be paid for their work, because the only means of legitimising anybody in the early 21st Century is with cash. Everything else, let’s be honest, is pissing in the wind. Nobody really cares until there’s an ability to stand up and proclaim you can make cash from your words. It doesn’t even have to be a fortune either, just enough to get by.
When somebody else offers you money for a service, it’s the start of a personal cultural Renaissance.
The Renaissance allowed the World to get all aesthetic and write about stuff without having to be part of the Church as legitimisation. Of course, when it was religion throwing money at you, everything got more complicated, and the fact only men were allowed to think… look, the point here is that it takes a certain level of domestic security to allow the process to take place. Like it or not, and however much certain people may believe we’re only two minutes away from Doomsday, this is as secure an existence as many people have ever experienced. It means that random people throw money at anything they like, and fiercely attack everything they don’t.
If you happen to be a creative riding the popularity wave, this is a great time to be alive, or these are the last days of Sodom and Gomorrah, depending on your world view.
Part of me is beginning to believe that the only true originality that can be expected in the future will come from subjective human experiences. As more and more people become obsessed with what are seen as ‘safe’ paths to success, and ignore their own creativity in exchange for becoming part of homogenous, digital wholes… it will become a smaller template of what is already being dictated to by huge, multinational companies. The mantra is simple: you can only be truly successful as part of a whole. If you don’t make enough money to contribute to that future, you will be ignored. The disturbing obsession with success over personal happiness is already beginning to destroy parts of my internet ‘home’ and that is only being further perpetuated by those who do not grasp that sometimes, doing stuff for nothing is worth more than you will ever realise.
So, where do I fit in all this? Honestly, right now I do not know, but to progress as a writer there needs to be input that cannot be provided from remaining alone. I need to ask for help, and that means reaching out to places who can. If that ends up providing success, it will be dealt with in due course.
Right now, there is a lot to think about.