I caught that show this morning while I was waiting for my coffee to brew. I was immediately hooked. The concept from what I can tell is that street dance crews as well as some studio groups get the opportunity to comptete for money and I’m assuming some sort of contract. Don’t quote me on that ’cause that isn’t what drew me to this show. What drew me was the incredible raw talent of these kids and young adults. OMG! The group that was up when I flipped to MTV (and I never go to MTV! Ever) was called…grrr, can’t remember but they’re 5 or 6 young men from Boston and they kicked ass! I was so amazed. The judges loved them. So, I happily watched for the next hour or so and was impressed, and at the same time reminded of how this show along with American Idol and Project Runway and so many other shows like this have the potential to catapult raw talent into the stratosphere. And also to crush dreams. It is so completive out there it’s daunting to the average person. Hell, even to those with confidence and talent out the wahzoo, it’s crazy scary.
Now while there is raw talent that is cultivated and then refined on these types of shows there are other factors that go into the end result: a contract. Here’s how I see it. You gotta want it more than anything. I mean be willing to go beyond what everyone else is doing. You have to be able to take constructive criticism, ’cause while some of the judges are harsh they know what the hell they’re talking about. You have to practice and learn and persevere. You have to pick yourself up off the floor each time you get knocked down. When you can see, smell, and taste victory but at the last minute you stumble and fall and you watch someone else grab the prize, you have to not wallow but spring back, brush yourself off and work harder so when that next opportunity presents itself you will be ready.
Another thing: You have to be true to yourself. If you can’t break (dance) then don’t. Play to your strengths. Enhance your natural voice, your natural talent. Hone it and run with it. Do not try to be someone else.
We all get our hearts broken in this publishing business. We all watch others pass us by at what seems like incredible speeds and feel envy or anger or frustration. It’s easy to ask, “Why not me?” Instead of wasting your time on that negative question, ask yourself this, “What do I have to do get on that train?” Then take a good hard look at yourself, where you are, who you are, what you bring, and what you really want. Then ask yourself just how hard are you willing to work for it? Are you willing to only go 50% of the way? For many people that’s good enough. But don’t look at the ones going the extra 50% and reaping the rewards and ask yourself that negative question: “Why not me?”
Yes, there is timing in this business, there is writing a great story, and there is having a great story that fits in the current market. But there is much much more, so much more you are in control of. Being professional. Working harder. Honing your craft, creating those memorable characters, networking and getting to know industry professionals. ‘Cause let me tell you something: After the good book, it isn’t what you know so much in the business but who you know. The good story is a given. No one wants you without it, but after the good story comes everything else.
I believe no matter how hard it is to get published today, it isn’t impossible. Far from it. Editors are buying every single day. In the summer, during the holidays, and even on the weekends! It’s your job to get it in front of them. Contests, conferences, blogs, and basic stalking. 🙂
So, if you have begun to give up, go back to square one, ask the hard questions and if that passion to write stills burns, regroup and come out fighting again.
Now that I’m off my soap box I do have a question, and this applies to all writers: What have you found to be the most difficult or frustrating part of this crazy business?
PS, It’s my turn over at Fog City Divas to blab today. Subject, Love and Loss. C’mon on by and say howdy.