I get emails from authors every week asking if they are “too late” to write a book when the world is so crowded with books and more being published every day.
But it really is the best time ever to be a creator and I am grateful every day to be born at a time in history when the internet enables us to write, publish and connect with readers across the world through free or cheap tools.
When you get bogged down by negative news or get sucked into the drama of whatever authors are worried about next, look at the bigger creative picture and be happy! I'm thrilled that today's article by Sara Crawford explains more.
I’m surrounded by creative people in all aspects of my life: authors, musicians, actors, filmmakers, playwrights, slam poets, painters, etc. With the sheer number of books, movies, plays, photography, music, art, and entertainment available to all of us, it can get overwhelming. Sometimes as creatives, we can feel like when we are creating, we are shouting into the void. I am guilty of this, myself.
It’s hard not to look at the number of books available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and become worried about your book getting lost. The truth, however, is that this is the absolute best time in history to be a creative person of any type.
1. There have never been as many ways to share your work
If you are a writer, there are countless websites and groups on social media where you can find critique partners and beta readers. You can chat with other writers on YouTube or Twitter. You can get feedback about your work on Wattpad. You can publish your books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, among others.
If you are a filmmaker, you can make movies and share them on YouTube. If you are a musician, you can share your music on Bandcamp, YouTube, or Spotify. If you are a playwright, you can create an old-school radio play podcast. If you are a photographer or a visual artist, there’s Instagram and DeviantArt.
Before the internet, it was much more difficult to share your art—even if you were just trying to get feedback. You would have to go through the long process of traditional publishing if you were a writer.
If you were a filmmaker or actor, you basically had to live in a city like Los Angeles, New York, or London. If you were a painter, you had to submit your work to art galleries. If you were a musician, you had to rely on record labels to share your music.
The internet has opened up the world for us creatives, and we should be grateful for that every single day.
2. There has never been such an abundance of art and entertainment, and there have never been as many people with access to it
With subscription services like Kindle Unlimited and Netflix, there is literally an unlimited number of books, movies, and TV shows we can have access to for a minimal monthly fee. There is an unlimited number of free songs, books, videos, photographs, and podcasts we all have access to.
There are so many free books on Amazon at any given time, there's even a Top 100 free books listed for each genre. It’s been estimated that over three billion people in the world have internet access.
That’s three billion people who can listen to your music, see your photographs, or read your books.
[Note from Joanna: By 2025, there are expected to be 8 billion people online – woohoo! From Singularity Hub]
3. There have never been as many opportunities to support other artists
With the rise of crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s never been easier to support your fellow creatives. With sites like Patreon, you can even support them for a few dollars a month, and if you are a creative, you can receive reliable monthly income.
[Note from Joanna: I have a Patreon page for my podcast, The Creative Penn – thanks to all who support the show there!]
When e-books are $0.99 and $2.99, countless bands offer their music for whatever you can afford to pay, and most artists have websites with donation buttons, it’s never been more affordable to support your favorite creatives.
4. There have never been as many opportunities for adaptation and inspiration
With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and nearly two thousand channels on Roku (just to name a few), there have never been as many opportunities to see your work adapted into a different form. There are countless television shows and movies that are based on books from independent authors. Netflix movies are being adapted from Wattpad books.
With all the access to art, there has never been such an abundance of music inspired by photographs, films inspired by music, paintings inspired by books, and every other combination you can think of.
5. There has never been technology as amazing as the technology is today
Writers have programs like Scrivener and Write or Die to help us write more efficiently. Musicians have the ability to record and mix entire albums on their laptops. Entire movies are being shot on phones.
Drones can help filmmakers get shots that once were nearly impossible or incredibly expensive. Everyone is carrying around the technology they need in their pockets to create and share art at any time. There are even stories being written by artificial intelligence.
So the next time you start to feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of art out there, keep in mind that it’s also a blessing. If you are a creative person, there has never been a better time to create art and share it with the world. And that’s really something to be grateful for.
Are you excited by all the opportunities available to share your art with the world? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.
She also runs a blog for creatives called Unleash Your Creativity featuring weekly interviews with artists of all types and a creativity tip mailing list.
[Coloured pencils image courtesy Jess Watters and Unsplash. Flowers photo courtesy Chungkuk Bae and Unsplash. Two women with phones courtesy Rawpixel and Unsplash. Netflix screen photo courtesy Charles Deluvio and Unsplash.]