One Hit Wonders

Okay.  Day two of working through all the blog posts I’ve bookmarked to share.  The next one was actually another one from PCW, so I skipped it in favor of one from Seth Godin, another person whose blog I faithfully read and have since I discovered it.

His posts deal more with a certain philosophical approach to life.  I often agree with him, but not always.

Such as with this post.  It’s only two lines long, so I hate to quote it, but, well, hard to talk about if I don’t.

“A one-hit wonder is a legend who stopped early.”

That’s pretty much the gist of the post.  That some people give up too soon or lose the nerve to continue.

But I have to say, that for some people I think the combination of factors that led to that first hit is something they can’t actually replicate.  And that for some people continuing to try to recreate the magic they had that first time around may end up in a lifetime of futility.

For example, an artist who writes about the raw and tragic suffering of their life.  Well, if that person then manages to monetize that suffering–say through a successful music deal–I have to imagine it would be very hard to continue to write about raw and tragic suffering while now living in a mansion.

And if they start to write about living in a mansion, I have to imagine that could alienate the fans that made them a hit in the first place.

If they write about how awesome it is, they seem shallow.  If they write about how much it sucks, they seem ungrateful.

I also think of writers who poured their heart and soul into a work and took twenty years to craft a beautiful, amazing, first novel.  Well, unless they take another twenty years (which most won’t) and unless they have another idea that’s as beautiful and amazing (which many don’t), it’s quite possible that everything they write after that point will never live up to the level of that first book.

I think the people who become legends are people who consistently perform at a high level, but aren’t necessarily the people who create the BEST of what they do.  And they’re also people who can change and evolve and somehow take their fans with them because whatever it is they’re offering it’s at a level deeper than what others offer.

Just my thoughts.  I’m willing to be wrong on this one.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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