Some people are their own worst enemy. I have writer friends and actor friends who are some of the worst people to be around because they constantly sing a "poor me" song about how they can't get a part or can't sell a manuscript. For example, a recent Wall Street Journal piece that said the slush pile is dead and writers hoping to be discovered sans agent are in a terrible spot prompted one writer of my acquaintance to proclaim that he had a better chance of a vacation on Mars than selling his manuscript. That was a real pick-me-upper!
These people are hard to be around, because they carry an aura of depression that brings me down, too, and makes life harder than it needs to be. The paradox to this is that if I am not around some of these people, I miss out on opportunities for acting roles or writing assignments. To counteract this, I research the lives of successful artists to discover how they've been successful and why; today, the successful artist I am looking at is Gene Simmons, one of the founders of the rock band KISS.
I have never been a big fan of KISS, but I like Gene Simmons. I'm watching a biography program on him as I type this, and somebody just asked if he felt his success was due to luck. He said: "My success is due to hard work. I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get."
I sure wish other artists took this attitude, instead of putting their work out there and waiting for something to happen, or wasting time reading Wall Street Journal articles. Simmons is a publicity machine. He goes out and MAKES something happen, and reaps the rewards. I know, I know, he already has money and can afford to create his own publicity, but what about when he did not have any money? Shameless self-promotion isn't something he learned after becoming a millionaire rock star. There was a time when he did it on a budget. Sometimes no budget. Writers trying to break out should learn something from this; instead, they keep playing the "poor me" song. Makes me sick.
Being creative is tough; trying to earn money at being creative is even tougher, but there are ways of making things happen. This blog has put me in contact with other writers and readers that I would not otherwise be in contact with, and will be part of my publicity efforts when my novel comes out; some of my actor friends have ways of keeping their names in front of filmmakers that I will modify for my own needs. There are ways of making things happen and they aren't terribly expensive, and sometimes it requires nothing more than talking to people. As Simmons also commentated, any artist who doesn't want to talk about his latest project had better learn to say, "Do you want fries with that"?
And for a certain writer (who shall remain nameless) who just landed a sweet contract and poo-poos his hard work and ascribes it all to luck, I hope you save your money, Jack, because luck is a fickle lady and she'll leave you as soon as she finds another sugar daddy. But if you work hard with what you have and make something happen, you can kiss her off yourself, because it's always better to be the dumper than the dumpee, right, Daniels?