I was thinking about that oft-confusing adage recently while perusing the Emmy award nominees list, which got me thinking about all awards, which got me thinking about publishing...and here I am.
How did I connect the two? Well, it was a very complicated train of thought, but here's the gist:
We all want to win awards and become famous and find fortune, but we want to achieve all that while doing whatever we want. I believe we call it "expressing ourselves."
But, there are certain genres, certain styles, certain concepts that are award-winning material (or have mass appeal, or make tons of money), and those that aren't (and never will). For the Oscars it's gain-thirty-pounds-and-sob-on-camera performances and make-the-audience-think-while-depressing-them-to-the-point-of-needing-a-therapist storylines, mostly. And no matter how beloved the "Ocean's" movies and Brad Pitt's Rusty were, they were never going to win Oscars.
Does that mean Soderbergh should have turned the projects down? That Angie should have threatened to leave Brad if he reprised his role for the nth time? Yeah, right.
My point is: why do authors (and creative types of all kinds) so often feel the urge to complain when their "thing" isn't given its due credit? Like short story authors who complain that they're just under-appreciated, or YA authors who bemoan the negative stereotypes that accompany the genre.
To those authors, and to comedians and indie rock bands, I say this: you can either do what you love and roll with it. Or you can do what is loved and be awarded.
Have your cake, or eat it, people. You can't do both. There's no sense in arguing with physics, and I really don't want to hear you try.
PS - Yes, I fully intend to ignore the fact that my last post was almost three months ago. Except for this post script, which is acknowledging it...