The song currently haunting me is Joni Mitchell’s Real Good for Free.
A famous singer, on her way to a sold-out venue, notices a clarinetist alone on the corner. She rolls down the window and listens. Damn, he’s playing real good, she thinks as people ignore him. They haven’t seen him on television. He doesn’t have a “name.” So, to them what he’s giving away has no value.
No one knows why some people reach the top while others never get past the bottom rung. Marketeers and motivational speakers will tell you – for a fee – that they know the answer. But there is no one answer. Like the tide, popular trends change with the moon. Writers and artists surf on fickle seas. They may catch a wave and be able to ride it for a long, long time, or stand up briefly only to be tossed back into the sea. Or, as is the case for most of us, spend their lives on longboards watching the sun set on yet another waveless day.
Next week (Nov 8 – 14) my publisher has decided to kick off the holidays by giving away selected books, including mine. The idea is to make their own waves.
Book giveaways I’ve been assured are quite common (even amongst the big name publishers) but I have to admit I’m scared. You know the feeling you have when planning a party and wondering if anyone will come? That’s the way I feel today.