What all successful creators have in common.
Most people think that the greatest inventors or creators in the world are hit by lightning bolts of inspiration that cause them to come up with a successful product. I’ve heard many a folk say, “How did so-and-so ever come up with the idea for Post-It-Notes/Twitter/Angels in America? I could never have imagined that up myself!”
Why yes, there’s no question that the inventors and creators of all those products and every other successful product out there have incredibly colorful imaginations, but that’s not what makes them successful.
What the most successful inventors and creators have in common is their ability to “listen” to the market and deliver something that the public needs/wants/craves . . . even if the public isn’t asking for it. Creators and Inventors, and this goes for Playwrights, too, must have their ears to the ground, consciously or sub-consciously. They must understand the desires of their audience, whether that’s a Broadway audience or a hipster Williamsburg audience . . . so they can satisfy their needs.
I know way too many artists that create art for purely selfish reasons. “I want to make something that I think is beautiful.” That’s great. Go for it. But don’t get mad if you’re only showing that art in your living room, because you’re the only one that finds it beautiful. Like it or not, your audience comes first. You come second.
Don’t pander. Don’t compromise. But find a way to be true to your voice and to satisfy their desires at the same time.
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