Getting recognised in 2019 is slightly tough, wouldn't you say? And, unless you've swallowed a bath bomb or discovered the next big meme, you probably aren't going to stand out to anyone but your own family. Honestly, that's a bit sad. And, like most, I've often dreamt of making a name for myself. But, I'm a writer, so those ludicrous chances went from one in a hundred, to a straight flat zero in seconds.
If you think about the billions of people on the planet and balance them on one hand; now hold out a second hand for all the billions of hours of content out there in the world. Now, think about publishing one small segment of work and skimming it like a rock out into the ocean of creativity. Reckon it'll make a splash? Or, do you expect it to kiss the water and then sink miserably before being forgotten?
Take YouTubers for example. Now that's a tough cookie to crack. I would know. I've been there. And like every other creator out there I know exactly how hard it is to reach a specific audience and bag just a few views to keep the channel ticking over. But, it isn't that simple. Pulling at straws and grasping for fame never really is.
Too many times I thought about how easy it would be for six billion people to just log onto YouTube real quick, type in 'Punk Plays' in the search bar, and then hit subscribe. That'd take less than fifteen seconds, surely? In a heartbeat, I could be the highest ranked creator on the web. I would never have to lift a finger again. I could simply upload a ten-second clip of my daughter brushing her teeth and it'd pay the next six months rent at least.
But, then I think about the four or five other billion creators out there. And, chances are, they've all thought the exact same thing, too. Because, honestly, I think we all want a piece of that better life, and some of us will literally do anything to claim it. That often means spamming your work onto forums or being kicked out of endless social worlds for promoting your content in hope of getting five seconds of fame. But trying to scream loud enough to be heard over a whole army of tortured souls is considered impossible in this generation. Because, annoyingly enough, it's not just me screaming. It's everyone.
We all want to take a slice of the pie and earn a better life from something we love, right? And, like you, I'd love nothing more than to write for a living and earn a nice salary from simply unravelling my mind and telling a good story over a coffee. But that'll likely never happen it seems. I guess that's the truth I'll probably never really admit.
Social media, for example, is a big one. That's something that truly drives me crazy when trying to reach out for a single thread of optimism when sharing my work. And, with the likes of Instagram models shadowing over me with the more powerful hashtags and follower influence, my tiny efforts feel petty and laughable, to say the least.
Over the last few years we've noticed the world's intelligence decreasing and becoming more accustomed to things like swallowing razorblades for six seconds of fame. And, it appears that in this day and age we don't have to possess a certain bundle of skills to be noticed. We just have to be in the right place at the right time. And the more stupid and naive we are, the more likely we are to get a few moments beneath the spotlight.
There's that old saying, 'it's all about who you know'. And, honestly, truer words have never been spoken. It goes for many things these days. From jobs up the ladder to discount prices at a local store. It's all about who you know. And if you aren't well connected in this present day, then your chances of reaching out and pulling in an enormous audience is next to impossible.
For example, I knew of somebody who applied for a role in an international online news outlet. He was more than qualified and ticked all the boxes ten times over. He had the balance, the charisma, and everything else needed to get the job done. But, of course, he didn't get it. The CEO's son did. The same son who previously worked at Costa coffee as a barista. Go figure.
This general rule of thumb applies in fame, too. If you don't know anybody who's already managed to make a name for themselves or have a bucketful of cash from a Swiss bank account, then chances are you won't make it as an actor, writer, singer, or anything for that matter. But if you were to have just one person who knew you and spoke highly of you, then sure, you might just have a fighting chance at stealing your own spotlight someday.
Let's take the Kardashians for example. Do you have any idea how much it just bothered me that their surname didn't come up as a spelling error? It's as if they've bolted themselves onto every inch of the world and reaped all the benefits from having a multi-billionaire family. But did they work for it? No, they didn't. They just happened to be born in the right place at the right time. And without a disgustingly large fortune being handed to them, they probably never would've even dipped their toes in the damn water to begin with.
Life can be cruel at times, for sure. And it doesn't matter if you have the best written screenplay in the world or the most believable monologue on film, because without that special link to a certain individual, it just might never be seen by the correct people at all.
But, we still try, don't we? We have to. We all want to thrive in bettering ourselves for the sake of our own welfare and peace of mind. And, so long as we enjoy what we do without the stress of never making it, then it's surely all worthwhile, right? Because, in all honesty, the chances of making it are incredible low. But it shouldn't really be seen like that. Making it into the big leagues should be a bonus, not a target. It should be the post-credits that reveal the spoiler for the sequel. Not every film has one, sure. But we are all still heroes in our own films; playing our parts through until the credits begin to roll. What comes after should just be an extra that should never be seen as a mandatory feature.
In 2019, millions will reach for the stars, and only a select few will grasp them. But we're all in the same boat, and next year we'll all try just as hard to reach even higher; never quite knowing just how far our neighbour will be stretching beside us.
Fame, back in the day, was something only a small percentage desired. But today, most people embrace it, even crave it. It's something that makes us want to sell our souls to just so we can feel like a superhero in our own story. It's something that could potentially wipe away our bad juju and banish all future problems. And whether that's actually true or not we'll probably never know. But, we still pour our heart into trying nonetheless.
So, just why is it impossible to become famous in 2019? Well, Google this exact question today, and the 1,220,000,000 results might just give you an idea of the ballpark you're trying to fight for.
So, good luck, to all those who reach for the stars. Like you, I'll be reaching today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life until my credits begin to roll, too.
Here's to hoping one of us will see the post-credits someday. Here's to hoping that one day one of us out there can prove me wrong.