THE LONG GAME
No more love on the run
There’s a strange misperception of success in this digital medium — somehow, we’re supposed to start out and grow and grow and grow our sites until we have a powerhouse audience in the millions every month. And then we have book deals and magazines and we’re all Rachael Ray and we just get bigger and bigger and bigger.
But if we look at the jobs in other creative industries like musicians or actors, we’ll find that the successes are more cyclical maybe even hit or miss over time. That perception of fame is separate from creating your best work.
People fall in and out of favor with a fickle public.
That’s okay. We’re fickle too.
Fame is separate from getting paid,
Fame is separate from personal satisfaction in the work.
A lifetime of creative success, where you invest time in learning more about your craft as well as sharing what you’ve learned, is the path for a great majority of us.
And that’s okay!
Since we’re exploring a new medium for the first time, it’s easy to feel confused and unsure.
Strangely enough, in digital media, we assume that popularity should grow steadily over time, but we have no evidence in any kind of related arts business that would prove this — it’s cyclical, it’s random.
Music, movies, they have hits, they have misses, but best of all, their creators have artistic growth over time. They’re stretching and growing their work.
This digital culture is mad wonky. We accidentally believe that creating is about ego when in fact the opposite is true.
It’s not about ego and fame.
It’s about the opposite. It’s about humility and sacrifice.
It’s about appetite.
It’s about your audience.
It’s about doing work that challenges us each and every day.
It’s about taking the time to check in with ourselves to remember the big message we’re trying to get across.
It feels even more ego driven as we work in isolation behind our lighted boxes. IT FEELS LIKE IT IS ALL ON US TO BE ALL ABOUT US.
And you all know, the best way to get out of our heads is to help other people. And your experience is such that there is someone you can help, generously.
Did you know that Billy Ocean teaches at the Tech Music Schools in London regularly holding seminars and clinics? How are you teaching the skills you’ve developed, working on this new medium forward?
Having another job helps too.
As Billy Ocean said, “I’m a qualified tailor, and the reason for that is my mother. She knew I loved music – I’d sing with her when she was ironing in the evening – and academically I wasn’t very bright. So when I left school with no qualifications, she said I must take a course in something to fall back on.”
There are a lot of bloggers in the world.
And a day job can help take the pressure off of you having to sell your story.
Billy Ocean’s 1989 Greatest Hits collection sold steadily over the past 34 years. His Greatest Hits was his biggest commercial success so far.
He’s still creating work, he even went on tour with his daughter Cherie as a backup singer last week.
What does your greatest hits look like? Do you want to sell it now? Or in 34 years? How can you continue to add to your greatest hits? How can you make sure your greatest hits really IS your greatest hits?