ack in my younger years, some forty years past, I would attempt to get people to see favorite movies. I’d loan them my VHS tapes. I’d offer to sit with them in the theater. I’d nag and beg and plead. I’d even bribe.
I remember coming home to tell my brother all about the Anime Star Blazers we’d been following religiously in college. Or Run Lola Run. Or just about any great flick or series or episode.
And you know what – 99% of the time, nobody would spare the time.
Apparently the greatest gift, that of time, was not given. People would fob me off in all sorts of way. And granted, I accept that I was a little insufferable about it. But really, if a friend raves about something, wouldn’t you want to humor them, even just a little bit? No?
And this is what you face as a writer. If you think that people don’t want to give you two hours for a movie, realize that you will be asking them to give you ten or twenty hours for your book. That’s quite a big request. So, yes, if you are going to write your “Great American Novel”, it’s got to be good. You can’t stand around the Barnes and Noble and beg people to read it like some sort of pathetic Fozzie Bear. You need an idea so interesting that people are drawn in, and you’ve got to hold them long enough to set the hook of curiosity. If anything about your story stalls, in any place, you’ll lose them.
If someone takes the time to review your work and they tell you they don’t like it, you’d better listen. Arguing with them doesn’t solve anything. You’ve already lost them. You don’t want to lose future readers.
As far as my movie-pushing goes, I found myself giving up on this as time went on. It just frustrated me to whine and press and get nowhere. My favorite movies are wasted on people. Oh, every so often, my niece and I will have a movie night and share flicks – that’s a lot of fun. And my daughter, we’ll cozy up with a great flick we’ve seen a dozen times and just enjoy each other’s company.
But the rest of you? Forget it. You just don’t understand.*