A few years ago, I performed an audit of a record label. One of the fun things we auditors have to do is count stock to make sure that the figures on their books is correct. Sometimes it’s fun – for example the bra factory where we were allowed to visit the staff shop – while some can be awful, like the meat factory where the animals came in live and left in small packets. This one was somewhere in between.
The record label was one of those achingly-hip places full of muso types and beautiful girls with blue dreadlocks. They generally dealt with music that would come under the title “alternative” as their genres were a more fluid state; using words that I didn’t really understand, like acid and dubstep. Nothing will make you feel more square than being an accountant in one of those places. They had achieved success by bringing one well-known American band’s music to the UK, but that was the only band I had ever heard of. Standing in a warehouse full of thousands upon thousands of CDs and vinyl records, thinking of the hours spent making music that I, and everyone I know, would probably never hear raised a question:
What is the point?
I stalk my Site Stats far more than is probably healthy. A new click gets me terribly excited, even though my better half points out that it doesn’t necessarily mean that anybody has read the post! I often wonder how people like the former Weddingbee crew or other bloggers with a pre-made audience deal with the excitement.
Really though, is that what it’s all about? The lure to industries such as music, art and writing is multiple. There’s money, of course. It is thought of as vulgar to do it purely for the feeling of having an audience, but the success of reality TV proves that fame is a big pull. So, what if you’re a teeny tiny blog writer (a writer of a teeny tiny blog, that is; nothing teeny tiny about this writer!) or an obscure musician – there’s no fame; and an intimate audience delivers a very different kind of joy to the buzz of applause.
It seems a bit twee to claim to do things for all the right reasons – and almost an attempt to imply that you are the only one who is doing so. During the annual podcast awards, one podcaster irritates me no-end when he insists repeatedly that people should not nominate his podcast (I say his – he handles the technical stuff and lurks in the background, making negative comments) because “that’s not why he does it”. I do just as he says.
This is something I’m figuring out. One thing that I have lost over the years is the thrill of being genuinely good at something. Accountancy exams are something that we’re dragged through, kicking and screaming. There is only pass or fail, so there is no reason to push on to do better. Results days are met with relief, not accomplishment, and it’s on to the next sitting.
I’d like to be a good writer. I’ve got the grammar thing down, save for a bit of poetic licence and the odd typo, but when it comes to actually talking about things that mean a lot to me, I’d like to be much, much more articulate. I suppose the answer is practice, so practise I will!