The Power of YOU (Part 4)
We so rarely in life get to see it all come together. Most times we are left wanting, wishing this thing or that would have lined up better. We are after what in some ways may not be reachable: perfection. We want completion.
We want to look at a painting, a song, a story, a project and say: perfect. We long to feel a sense of completion, one that does not leave us regretting. We want something we can be proud of. We want something with the magic sprinkles of eternity.
And how do we best get there? Keeping our head in the sky gazing into stars is definitely one way. If we fill ourselves so fundamentally and deeply with longing it does in some way bear itself in our work. The longing drips onto our pages.
But such longing can be painful. It can actually thwart progress. A great novel can literally knock you off your feet. But isn’t that the point? At least to some degree. Isn’t great beauty supposed to knock us off our feet with no apparent agenda?
Or is there a community development function within art? In other words, are there pragmatic benefits of music and art that can be clearly defined, understood, and perhaps even measured? Is there a way to define success?
That’s where of course there is a big different between those who write and those who perform. Writers are constantly producing material, and are forced to continue asking what of this is pertinent to real markets today?
A certain orchestra playing a Beethoven symphony may move local crowds to their feet for standing ovations. Is that to their success or Beethoven’s? Those currently writing original music don’t have the luxury of playing time-tested music.
Of course a symphony can play really well or not, but the difference is important. Writers are more experimenters, trying to figure out what will work. So much is left in the cutting room for those few songs that resonate but its worth it.
But how does a writer (even one who is a performer too) find out what will resonate? That is the great mystery of writing in context with the market, a moving target. We may write something that resonates deeply with us but does poorly on the market.
We may release something into the market that simply is not the right time, and it bombs. There are many stories of now famous releases that were originally flops until they were re-leases years later under different circumstances.
What makes something “hit?” That is really the million dollar question. How do we truly engage the market? And what market? Certain things will attract certain markets. But keeping to the true essence of the piece is there an appropriate market?
Will the market find the piece? There are stories where that is definitely the case. And it seems the whole process is really shrouded in mystery. There simply can be no formula for success, other than timing + hard work + providence.