This blog post topic inspiration spurred from a podcast episode I listened to about two months ago, where the guest for that week was Wong Fu co-founder, Phil Wang. He talked a lot about how it can be a struggle with keeping up with content as it comes out, when you yourself are a content creator. Just to paint a picture as to what I mean by that, the week he was on that podcast, his webseries “Single By 30” just came out, and yet the most recent content he had consumed at the time was “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
After listening to that episode, it got me thinking a lot as to how it applies to my own life as a content creator myself. I began thinking about what I do to be as informed with what’s hot right now, while maintaining my own voice for the stories I put out there. It turned out to be a quick analysis on my end, for how I consume content is, perhaps, quite freeing, when compared to my other fellow millennials.
Now I’m not saying that to put myself on a pedestal, for this is out of mere observation. I’ll see people post on Facebook about watching “Stranger Things” or the latest Marvel film, and in instances like those, I don’t think twice about checking out, for they don’t align with my interests. While people of my generation have a tendency to not read for fun regularly, I’ve been enjoying my time lately with reading Mike DiMartino’s debut novel. Last week’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” was the third one I had seen the whole way through, and that was only because Lin-Manuel Miranda was the special guest. See what I mean?
I’ve always been like this; ever since I was a kid. That’s why whenever something is super hyped up by the masses, it tends to fly over my head. Depending on what it is, it may take a while for me to gather enough interest to check it out, once the hype has died down. That’s why the first time I saw the film “Avatar” was a year and a half after it came out.
However, now that I am a content creator myself, I’m not going to lie when I say that there is a little bit of pressure to pay attention to not only what’s relevant, but also what’s needed. Sometimes, it’s not always a bad thing. For instance, when Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko pitched “Avatar: The Last Airbender” to Nickelodeon, they were basically checking off boxes of what the studio was looking for at the time; fantasies and action-adventures. And yet the show was incredibly unique in its own way, that it stood out as one of the more incredible creations to come out of Nickelodeon within the past decade.
That’s part of the reason why I’m putting such emphasis on the diverse world that An Absolute Mind is set in. Even though that was planned prior to #OscarsSoWhite and before “Fresh Off the Boat” hit the air, it meets the demand nowadays for more diverse content.
On the other hand, when you solely pay attention and respond to what the audience wants and what’s popular, then you’re not leaving space in mind for bringing something completely new to the table. Believe it or not, people respond to something that’s a standout, and that can be a good thing. That’s why “Glee” was revolutionary, for it was the first musical TV series to succeed. That’s also why “Hamilton” is taking the nation by storm right now, for it effectively brought hip hop and rap to a Broadway musical and made it in high demand.
There are several angles to the matter, but at the end of the day, it all depends on what works for the content creator. For me, it’s all about shrugging off what doesn’t meet my appeal and focus on what does. That’s how I consume content. As a creator, it’s all about putting out what has the potential for people to find relevancy in, all the while maintaining my own true voice and putting out the kind of messages and stories that I have to tell.
An Absolute Mind is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords, and will be officially released on November 15th. Be sure to also go to its Goodreads page and let me know you’re excited for it by adding it to your “to read” list.