|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
ON-LINE - A USEFUL TOOL, BUT ONLY WHEN LINKED TO AN ACTIVE MIND.
WHACKING YOUR THUMB WITH THE INTERNET STILL HURTS
Ever wonder why your screen is inundated with me-me's? You know, those people out there whose only purpose for having that particular site is so they can jump up and down like some sugar-charged attention hog at a five year old's birthday party. That kid who spends the whole time trying and failing at annoying little stunts, skits, and jokes between ten minute bursts of yelling, "Look at me, look at me!"
Unfortunately, these people are the ones who have constructed their sites as promotional vehicles for their poetry, stories, books, photography, or art of one form or another. They've forgotten that, unless they do something that really stands out, they're just like that kid at the birthday party. The first disintegrating cartwheel was funny, the tenth lame knock-knock joke isn't.
They take up a particular genre, or subject, or style, or theme because they are so impressed by someone else who has made a small, or LARGE, income producing this very same type of work. What they've neglected is that, in the eyes of the world, unless they have really found a "blow my socks off" take on this work, then they're just tag-a-long copycats. (Kind of like your baby brother. Mom never did get that, did she?)
That's what I've been driving at the last couple of days. You're not even going to impress the other copycats with this stuff. They're going to write glowing comments in one on-line persona or forum, and condemn you for not being able to do it any where as good as they have in another. Don't believe me? Just trot on over to your megalithic Internet everything store and download their latest self-published masterpiece. Which, by the way, has already sold twenty-three copies at ninety-nine cents each!
If you want to impress the world, or at least that part of it capable of helping you realize that deep belief that you're a true talent, then you are going to have to face certain facts:
1. We all learn from the people who did it first.
2. Only the crazy brave climb from the bottom of the rugby scrum that is competition in the art world.
3. Don't buy into the PC sobbing about everyone's voice being valid and precious. (They use that kind of substance to grow better roses.)
4. You can stand on the shoulders of giants, but eventually you have to step off on your own.
5. Self-publication proves nothing except you learned how to use the formatting programs. The mega-store could give a rat's butt whether you sell or not. A real life publisher will be more than willing to help disabuse you of such delusions.
6. Yes, I have had, and continue to have, close relations with brick and mortar publishers and editors. No, I have not made a great deal of anything but recognition, but I have always said what I meant in my own irritating way. I was disabused a long time ago.
7. If it doesn't feel something like carrying your overweight neighbor up Mount Everest without oxygen...you're not trying hard enough!
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis