Monday, April 13, 2015

There Are No Gatekeepers - Author Life

Today I realized something important.

Okay, in actuality, I realized this weeks ago, but I've been lazy in putting this revelation into words. Shush.

There are no gatekeepers.

And before you all ask, no, I'm not talking about anything Ghostbusters related.

I'm talking about the wide world of entertainment.

Ten years ago, if you wanted to do something in the entertainment business, you had to go through gatekeepers. Want to sing? Get an agent and a contract. Want to write books? Get a publishing deal. Want to make games? Go to school, get an internship, hope you get hired. Want to be in television? You better be willing to work hard and long.

Everything had gatekeepers. Agents, companies, producers, developers, whatever. You couldn't do anything in the entertainment business without jumping through hoops.

And even if you got in, you had to work your butt off to stay in. It's like being thrown into a graveyard and only the liveliest zombies lived. Yes, zombies. People forced to follow and obey the words and commands of their zombie puppetmaster and make a profit doing it. Everyone else was buried away and forgotten.

You COULD try making it on your own if you so wished. After all, people have been self publishing stuff for years. Independent projects weren't unheard of. But they weren't respected. People hated them. They thought that if you didn't have a huge company backing you, that you simply didn't have the talent and resources to make anything decent.

Indies were stuck behind the "official" gates, watching everyone else thrive while they struggled to make ends meet.

Then came the internet. And the internet, as we all know, breaks things.

Can't get through the gate? No worries. We built a ladder over the wall for you.
The internet allowed us to bypass any kind of gatekeeper. And it made us believe that there is NO validation in big companies. If you've got the talent, the internet has the means to get it out there.

Want to write music? Act? Sing? Make animations? Do movie reviews? Play video games? Make a TV show? And you want to do all this on your own budget with your own rules AND get paid for it? Guess what. There's an app for that.

Want to make art for a living? Love drawing characters, making comic books, generating revenue and doing everything your way? Sick of being bogged down by syndicates and newspapers telling you what to do? Want to charge YOUR way for YOUR hard work in art? There's an app for that too.

And not just DeviantART. If you want to make comics and put them online, you can get your own website and follow your own rules. There are companies that will sell your merchandise. People who will make your websites your way. You can get ANYTHING done.

Want to write for a living? Sick of the agents and publishers telling you you aren't good enough? Want complete control over your book, your content, your cover, your editor, your website, and everything else? Want to do things YOUR way? And get paid for it? Guess what? There's a app for that too.


Want to make your own video games? There's stuff for that. Want to make your own card game? There's stuff for that too. Want to fund a new project without incurring large amounts of debt? Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have your back. There is NOTHING you can't do.

There is NO EXCUSE not to go out there and make your creative living doing creative things YOUR WAY.

This is incredibly freeing. No more do we have to wait for validation from companies, agents, publishers, and developers. No more do we need to follow only the mainstream to catch attention. You can do whatever you want however you want it. The internet is on your side and your audience i just waiting for the next big thing from you.

The only bad side to this is... well, YOU. The internet makes things incredibly freeing. But it also makes it hard. Suddenly you can do anything you want with your brand. BUT you have to do it ALL BY YOURSELF. You run your social media sites. You run your website. You make the content and the editing and tax paying and anything else that a whole business would normally do for you.

This is freeing, but not EASY. You will work hard. You will go a long time without any payoff. You will be fighting hundreds of thousands of others trying to do the same thing you're doing. You have to persevere. 

But this also means that you have an advantage. Only the brave and the determined will make it past the initial steps. Only those determined to throw EVERYTHING AWAY and throw their ENTIRE BODIES AND MINDS into this project can do this. You just have to have the drive.

But if you have the drive, baby, you're golden.

So toss aside the gatekeepers and open your minds to the possibilities. Enter that freeing gate into the world of Indie. We're all waiting for you.


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