Saturday, July 16, 2011
What I have in common with Friday Night Lights
I'm pretty sure I have never loved a TV show as much as I've loved this one. And it's hard for me to put into words exactly why. If you watch the show, of course, you know. I think it's the little moments the show was so good at showing. The little moments that make life worth it. The little moments you have to work for, that don't come easily. But then one comes, and it's good. Really good and it's like catching that pass in the end zone after you've practiced for months and wondered if you'd survive the season. You feel victorious, because those moments are so very sweet.
One thing I've been thinking about this morning is how Friday Night Lights is like a mid-list author. It never got the ratings and attention so many others shows on television received. The people who discovered the show became die-hard fans, and those fans are what pushed the producers, I believe, to get creative and strike a deal with DirecTV so the show would continue on a couple of more seasons.
So many people will never know the incredible beauty of this show. And yet, the show worked hard to give the fans one hell of a last season. In the end, it wasn't about ratings or the possibility of getting picked up another season or bottom line or any of that.
It was about writing a series of shows full of heart that the fans had come to expect, and staying true to the original vision of the show.
Those of us who are struggling mid-list authors must remember that in the end, fans don't care whether a book is labeled a bestseller or not. Publishers care, but fans? All they want is a book that touches them somehow. That when they put the book down, they feel like their life has been changed for the better in some way. They want to know that the author did everything he/she could to give them a reading experience they've come to expect from that author.
I will never be a Cassandra Clare or a Becca Fitzpatrick or a Maggie Stiefvater.
I will be me, Lisa Schroeder who writes YA novels that are kind of different. That require the reader to start in and trust me that I will not overwhelm them with poetry that's hard to follow. That I will not forget that first and foremost, no matter what format a book is written in, story is number one! That I will take the reader on an emotional journey because THAT is what I try my hardest to do. That is why I write. That is what I love when I read and so, it is what I try to do in every one of my young adult novels.
Because my books are a bit different, there will be a struggle with every release to find an audience. But the fans who have been with me from the beginning, who read I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and have read every book since then, the fact of the matter is, I write for you. Did you hear me?
I write for YOU!
And so, the ability for me to continue to write novels and get them published for you to read lies in your hands. I cannot survive as an author unless my fans help me to survive, and that is a fact. Just like Friday Night Lights wouldn't have been given two more seasons if the fans didn't rally big time for a show they loved completely and desperately, and continued to tune in to show their support.
If you've bought one of my books or told your librarians and teachers and friends about my books, thank you! From the bottom of my FNL-loving heart, THANK YOU!