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Don’t Think About Awards, Think About Message

how to begin writing a bookI read a wrap-up about the recent Grammy Awards in which a writer complained that the Grammies continually overlook cutting-edge artists in favor of popular entertainers, even talented ones like Adele.

The first thing is, this was an awards ceremony. And awards aren’t exactly cutting-edge, whatever that means (usually it’s an arbitrary ruling in the mind of the critic).

The second thing is, who cares?

If you’re going to get miffed because some award is handed out to someone other than the person you’d rather see an award go to, then maybe you should get out more. I mean, really. Awards don’t matter.

They’re nice to have, but after you’ve won one, then what? You put the Oscar on the mantel, you frame the Pulitzer certificate and everyone thinks you’re great. Whoopee.

You’re a writer. You’re an author. You want to be read, to reach an audience and even make a difference. Will an award do that?

No. What will do that is your message. You will reach more people through your platform than you will because you’ve happened to win an award (whether you’re cutting edge or not).

Don’t think about awards. Don’t think about anything other than your writing, your message, your audience. That’s what counts.

Many writers naturally dream of success. But success, true success, isn’t measured by the number of metal-plated trinkets you may have received from whatever group has decided to bestow an award to give itself some sort of cachet (awards are really for the giver more than the recipient). Success is measured by your interaction with your audience, in the number of books sold, blogs read, links linked, topics discussed.

Don’t write because you think you’re going to get an award. Write to spread your message and reach an audience.

Of course, if I’m ever up for an award, I’d be pleased. It’s an honor just to be nominated, and I’d like to thank all the little people…

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3 Responses to “Don’t Think About Awards, Think About Message”

  1. Andrea Reindl February 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Bob, how true how true. If you write to share your message, and hopefully help a few folks out along the way the awards won’t matter. Thanks for the perspective!

  2. Nicholas August 6, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    As a new author I am really interested in the communities and their experiences starting out. It’s a long road to establish one’s self in the eyes of a community but the experiences gained from making the journey are exciting and well worth the effort.

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