We feel overwhelmed. A strange hopelessness of finding success is mixed with weak lingering belief in the theoretical achievable but very illusive ability to get there. Motivation is as hard to maintain as it ever has been at any time in the history of publishing. The same state of torpor exists throughout the wider arts. The quantity of artists is rapidly expanding but the slots for the successful remain doggedly limited. It is evermore likely that you as a reader are also an amateur writer, just as I am. I, like thousands of others, have a catalogue of books for sale, a brand new one, and more in my head. But is all the effort worthwhile? Well certainly not on an hourly money rate. A typical income might be one cent an hour and a minus at that, as the process of production always carries some real costs, even if only in computers and cups of coffee.
We have to write books for the love of writing, as others might compose music, paint, engage in equine sports, show dogs, garden. These sorts of activities are vital to us, they often define our being, give us a reason for living. However, the few that make a living from art or particular skill are, one here, one there and one on the road to Timbuktu. They are the million dollar lotto winners, which neither statistically will I ever be among and nor probably will anyone I know.
Fame is a constant sized cake that more and more of us are trying to eat. Only so many writers, painters or whosoever can exist in the public consciousness at once. So don't stand in the queue, walk away into a pleasant spot by the babbling brook to enjoy the play. Who knows what will happen. Our souls need that we keep performing, keep on being the people we need to be however distant the crowd. Just the dream that a fairy godmother is watching must be enough, as it was in our childhood.
As I write, there will only ever be me and dreams in my world. Even in a busy café or in the airport lounge, or on the bus to Timbuktu, there is only actually me and an out of focus, irrelevant, crowd. Every one of those passing apparitions is too busy to even glance at Cosmo, or Rushdie or some Kardashian or another. The drifting masses may never ever have time for us.
It is the private performance of our art that is needed, healthy activity for our souls, not the recognition. The money to perform- yes well- play lotto I guess. The flow and quality of our art is all that matters, because it matters to us.