Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mark Twain Would Have Loved The Net

Dear Fellow Writer,

You know I'm committed to helping writers and artists achieve their dreams. I think I do that best by teaching - and example. It's my job to inspire and empower you through writing and creativity.

Two main projects on the go at the moment, actually three.

1. Editing a short story collection of mine I want to get out.

2. Mixing a new song I want to make a video for. 

3. Writing a screen short I want to make soon.

Busy? Nah!

Just a normal week...

Keep writing!
Rob Parnell


THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE:

Mark Twain Would Have Loved The Net

Rob Parnell

Steve Jobs predicted a day when everybody would become an artist.

Steve's prediction is to do with the way he viewed people. He believed they were inherently creative - that they know what is good and bad and want to 'improve' on life and toys to increase their satisfaction level.

He invested millions sometimes into software that would help people make their own animated movies for instance - something that just didn't appeal to the average punter.

Steve's predictions were based on his own world view - and his love of fiddling with other people's inventions, improving on them, making them perfect. Simply put, he believed everyone out there was really not unlike him.

The fact that he created a vast corporation - and most of us don't - proves his world view to be, to some extent, false.

The average person, while creative in a mundane sense, is not truly an artist in the sense of say, Michelangelo, Coelho or Spielberg.

Most people's lives are way too complex to have the luxury of dedicating their time to vast creative projects like paintings, books or movies.

Much of Apple's success has to do with people NOT being overly creative but wanting to purchase things that are - or appear to be.

All this is a round about way of saying that artists, like yourself, are still a rare commodity. And will always be.

If you're a writer, you're in a minority.

If you're a writer that finishes their manuscripts, you're in a TINY minority.

In fact, as the online population grows, the percentage of creative writers compared to the average surfer is actually getting smaller.

During the 1990s for instance, the number of writers online made up about 10% of its users. Now it's less than 1%.

So you can immediately see that, despite the seemingly huge numbers of other writers out there vying for the attention of readers, you should still consider yourself, if you have any creative leanings, as 'special' and to some extent, unique.

To be creative in an artistic sense is a rare privilege.

Does that make you feel better?

I hope so.

Okay, competing in this world is becoming harder.

Getting a book published by a major trade publisher is probably harder now than at any other time in history.

But that's okay - because the writer's world has changed.

You can do it all yourself.

The Net allows you to get your writing out there - and interact with your readers in a way that was impossible twenty years ago.

Plus, you don't have to pander to the whims of agents, publishers and marketers who, let's face it, are also not very creative either. If they were, they wouldn't be doing what Steve did - which is basically to take other people's ideas, fiddle with them and then call them his/their own.

Modern writers are now in control. 

It's curious to me that in US TV shows, the writers invariably become the shows' producers. It makes sense to me that the writer/producers are the only ones who really know why a show works - and can actively demonstrate HOW it works by writing it.

I think the days of the producer who doesn't write are numbered.

And I think one of the reasons why Amazon is so helpful to unsigned writers is that for years publishers have arbitrarily decided which writers are good in a way that doesn't always reflect what readers actually want.

Now - the tables have turned - and writers can show us, through their success, that they don't need to suffer from constant rejection. They can PROVE that they know what they're doing by circumventing the system!

What a wonderful time to be alive.

Mark Twain I believe would have loved the Internet. His FB page would be the most popular in the world!

Dickens would have had a field day with Twitter.

And just imagine Shakespeare blogging during the writing of his latest play. We'd all be in bated breath!

Seriously, we tend to imagine that 'real' writers are austere types, too professional to stoop to lowly things like public popularity.

This is patent nonsense.

All writers and artists are engaged in a public validation process from the moment they have the courage to show their work to anyone.

And what better validation than public success - whatever that means to you.  

Take control of your writing career.

This is the most wonderful time in history for a writer to be alive.

Make the most of it.

Keep writing!
 rob at home
THIS WEEK'S WRITER'S QUOTE:
"The last time somebody said, 'I find I can write much better with a computer.', I replied, 'They used to say the same thing about drugs.'" Roy Blount Jr.
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