Oh overnight success, why do we long for thee with such desperation? Why does ignorance plague us as we cry a thousand tears in search of receiving something for nothing? To us fools, the kings of the wise bestow upon us an illuminating guide of words to save us from ourselves — ‘Snap out of it. It isn’t going to happen’

Instant success is a scary idea. For starters, if you were to gain a louder voice than you currently have, you wouldn’t know how to use it properly. Imagine going from an audience of ten to one of 10,000. Without knowing how to talk to 10,000 people your audience will dwindle back to ten fairly quickly. Any one who has been struck by an arrow shot by the archer that is on the team of the social networks knows this. How often can you sustain the numbers you get from a social network spike? Yeah, exactly.

When you start a creative endeavor, be it illustration, design or blogging, it isn’t going to be a case of instant popularity — it takes months and years to build a base which will lead to ‘overnight success’. It’s this base that you build that will lead to recognition—not being ‘discovered’. This is a great time to learn and explore that which you are passionately starting. This is a phase which should be embraced, not ignored or rushed through.

This is a phase which should be embraced,
not ignored or rushed through

While you have no audience, you should be playing with your message. Play and explore different styles and ways of creating and saying what you want to say. When nobody knows your voice, speak in as many different tongues till you find the one that suits you best. Forget what you think you want to be and find it through trial.

If you feel you want to illustrate, then illustrate over and over again, using different mediums. If you want to be a blogger, then write over and over again in different voices till you find one that feels true to you. With no audience to cater to, you have only yourself to impress, so keep working till you find something that impresses you.

Through this experimentation you’ll grow as a creative. You’ll learn how to see and think and speak like you were a child. It is a time to learn, so watch and read and ask questions so that the infant mind we all have can grow and develop into something beautiful. Don’t rush it, take your time and enjoy discovering something new.

Will any one hear it?

Of course there is a downside to creating for no-one. A lack of feedback from an audience, especially an intelligent and experienced audience made up of your peers, can lead to us flying blindly, unaware of the closed windows we keep flying into.

Say the right words at the right time, in the right place for long enough, and you will be heard. But just like going from an audience of ten to 10,000, going from an audience of zero to five can be a nerve-wracking experience. So make sure you have something worth saying. Something learned from that inquisitive mind you’ve been developing.

Pay attention to what makes this passive audience smirk

Once you have an audience in the pedestrians walking by, take not of what causes them to stay and listen to you, even if it’s only for a moment. Look them in the eye and read them. While it’s important for the heart and soul for you to say what you want to say, how you want to say it, pay attention to what makes this passive audience smirk and work with it.

Once you’ve built your base with the right materials, those pedestrian audience members will take a seat. The more you learn from those sitting in the rows of chairs before you, the easier it will be to sing to them with your true, passionate voice — making them all the more excited. Before you know it, your passive audience of ten will turn into a roaring crowd of 10,000. 10,000 who will give you a standing ovation when you walk onto the stage, who will sing with you and always scream and dance for an encore. If you’ve really built this ever-expanding base well, they might even shed a tear for you once in a while.

Chuck Westbrook

Chuck had an interesting thought. A thought I want to be involved with, as do a number of other people. He had an idea that might help some of us grow our audiences and hopefully start to get our crowds singing. I hope that we all have strong enough bases to survive and grow our audience. I fear those who have begged to sing to 10,000 aren’t prepared so to entice the pedestrian audience to take a seat. I fear some of us will get stage fright. Whatever the case, at least we’re singing our own lyrics.