Do you write for money or for fame? Does it matter, is it the same? Are you someone who writes because it’s you passion and you hope that this will one day deliver you the money? I write for money, and I earn well from it, but it’s in a language that really only computers understand.
I have been known to write for money in a language that humans understand, but the amounts that I earn from that are so small I don’t even really consider it worthwhile bragging about. That’s not to say there isn’t money in it, and large amounts, it’s just at present, I don’t make my living writing for money for humans.
That will eventually change and I know this because what made me really proud was when I saw my words in print for the first time in an article I wrote a few years ago. It was for a newsletter for an organisation I used to work for, I don’t think it was this that fueled my urge to write more, and although no fame followed (the readership was really tiny) there is still a feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with seeing you name above a printed piece.
I recently had one of my pictures feature on the BBC website. I didn’t know they were going to use it for the article (written by someone else), so I was completely thrilled when I saw it and shouted (in a very quiet office) “That’s my picture!”. The excitement was short lived however, because I received no credit (not entirely their fault), but worse still, the bloody webmaster did a really bad crop of the image so it actually looks crap!
I felt, excited ooo my picture on the BBC website, then relieved because I would get absolutely no photography work if my name was attached to the image that looked soooo bad. This made me think, about what I want for myself, am I looking for money from this photography and writing lark or do I want people to recognise my work and be lauded as a somewhat capable artist/journalist/whatever?
One of my brothers is quite a well know gospel artist in the UK, my other brother is also making quite a name for himself in certain music circles as well. I take the piss out of them on countless occasions, because it’s my belief that they want to be famous. They love the limelight, whereas I kind of shy away from it.
I cringe at being called up and being the center of attention, however, secretly is this really the case? Isn’t the truth behind that a fear or an insecurity? Sometimes we argue that it’s because we don’t seek after such a trivial thing as ‘fame’.
In truth, might it be that we are actually unwilling to stand behind our own work? Thinking that everyone is going to think our work is really rubbish. I think if you’re not willing to stand up and identify yourself as the author of a piece of work, or to put you opinions out there and have them criticized or critiqued, then maybe you’re just a bit afraid. But as someone once said, “feel the fear and do it anyway“.
I’ve been watching the X Factor this season (first time from the beginning) and the courage it takes for all the contestants to stand up each week in front of millions of people and have those people (as well as the 4 judges) critique them in front of everyone, it’s no wonder they’re crying buckets of tears each week (wayyyy too much crying). Those finalist feel the fear every single day it would seem and twice on Saturdays, but they do it anyway, because, even if they don’t win, they know that this program can change their life in a major way.
My brothers rise and fall by the work that they do. They stick their reputations on the line with every high profile gig, interview, article that they are involved in, and their not afraid to be criticised or critiqued on the standard of their work. It’s not that they think they’re the best in the world, it’s that they know their work is good enough.
So my friends, write write write, publish, self-publish, post your pictures online, ask for critiques, live and die by your work. You’ll feel great when you seen your stuff published, it will make you feel proud.