On Creativity and Feedback

As it's now late in the book thread, superceded by another thread, permit me to muse (Oklahoma, not Oregon) at some length on creativity and feedback.

If I am "creative" in any field, it's mostly cartooning, I suppose. I compose songs, but I think of them as mostly cartoonish in both lyrics and tunes. If I write, it's cartoonish, too, as far as depth of thought. Animator, 3D dabbler, film- and videographer, songsmith, writer of opinion, politix, and phylossophee, dabbler in fiction, and cartoonist - obviously I'm unfocused - a jack of many genre, master of none.

Life led me long ago to not think of my material as marketable except in the most niche ways.

I don't create for fame or fortune, but because this stuff comes to me, and I've been fortunate enough to have the marginal skills and tools to set them down.

Fame is only attractive as a means to reaching those few who might like my stuff, and while I wouldn't reject fortune, I don't expect it.

If someone is ejjicated, informed, or amused by anything I do, well, that's reciprocity for what I've received from the creations of others.

I'm not out to mass-market, but more like handing some friend in the room a cartoon I scribbled, playing a song for them while beating up on the piano or guitar, for the sake of a smile - sometimes.

I used to distribute photocopies of my cartoons, tapes of my songs, to various friends. So, the Web seemed a boon to me as a framework where production costs were minimal and every genre was possible, and anyone with web access could be pointed to my work.

I realized even before I got on the web that in the digital cosmos, nothing can really be kept behind paywalls. So, when I started web-ifying my works, I put them up gratis, asking for donations. That has worked out about as expected, or less. People do pay for songs online, and some videographers and online writers do get $upport. So I hear. So, there's always the possibility, but I'm far from being supported by my twenty years of accumulated webworks.

I had hoped that in this 21st year of my website, I'd be pouring out stuff daily, and improving the look of the website as well. A serious illness sometime back, from which recovery has been slow, and other problems and distractions, scuttled those plans. I hope my creative lull is transient. Still have lots of ideas not realized or posted yet.

I have occasionally mentioned here my one sci-fi story, "Invulnerable." My original idea was to make it a "graphic novel" (someday the movie adaptation - heh). What I got was a mixed bag. Starts off with raw sketches, becomes mostly text, and ends up as a faux website and an "email" for the conclusion. Sort-of works in a web framework. I think.

It's mostly first draft. Although I have some "upgrades" on the cartoon part, and some new illustrations to be added to the story, I don't think I have much to improve on the basic story.

Anyway, the story has been online for a couple of years. I promo'd it for a long time by having the teaser on the front page, pinned to the top, and a few mentions here, as I said, but I haven't advertised it otherwise. It just sits there, for the world wide websurfers to ignore.

Other than my immediate family, I've never had anyone comment upon it, so I don't even know if anyone out there has ever actually even finished reading the thing. Would folks find it good? bad? fair? poor? astounding? hideous? I don't know. And the donation box (still intending to replace PayPal but haven't yet) remains virgin.

Which is all to say, I can really appreciate those actual writers and creators online who ask for reviews on the real websites like Amazon, as well as asking folks to purchase their works. It's encouraging to get feedback, I would think. Although, I've had feedback on my works (mostly my music), in person, which was mostly quite discouraging, but I think, well, that wasn't written for you, I guess. Folks you know, and relatives, can be the harshest critics. Prophet not without honor except in his own country, as they say. Certainly bewildering to have no feed back at all.

While just talking about Invulnerable in this tl;dr comment, is intrinsically self-promotional - and I've even said many of these things on here before - I'm not begging or whining. I like what I do or I wouldn't do it, but I'm shy about asking anyone to go check stuff out - 'cause, you might not find anything I do your cup of tea; but I'll bet there's at least a couple people in this wide world that might like something in my eclectic collection. So I keep on, or intend to. Plainly, I have a fool for an editor and publisher.

Just noodling on self-publication, creativity, and promotion, trying to find the niche market puddles in the deep sea of the web.