Monday, May 9, 2016

Enough

"It was essential to feel thankful for the few who stopped to watch or listen, instead of wasting energy on resenting the majority who passed me by. ... All I needed was ... some people. Enough people. Enough to make it worth coming back the next day, enough to make rent and put food on the table. And enough so I could keep making art."
--Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking

In this book, Palmer writes a lot about finding your audience, and how that audience doesn't necessarily need to be (in fact, it probably can't be) every single person. She relies on this conclusion: "Given the opportunity, some small consistent portion of the population will happily pay for art" (emphasis in original).

This is a model that rivals the blockbuster-or-bust mindset. It's about patience, and diligence, and trust, and about asking ourselves what is enough.

4 comments:

  1. Oh wow. That is very good advice! We do tend to focus on those who pass us by, don't we?

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    1. Yes, for some reason many of us find it easier to dismiss positive attention than negative attention. I can't tell you how many writers have told me that they can read 100 favorable reviews and 1 negative one, and it's the latter that sticks in their heads. But Palmer is right--if we focus on the people who get and like our work, there is so much to be grateful for.

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  2. It's so easy to see success only as dollar signs and your name on big banners, but I think it really is the email about how your writing touched a reader, or that rave review that makes you grin for days.

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    1. Certainly those emails are the rewards that come to me nowadays, and I value them so much!

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