From Justin Colletti...

The following is a great piece by Justin Colletti, an intelligent and insightful person:

The Producer’s Trap

By JUSTIN COLLETTI | Published: JANUARY 29, 2014

It has been said that there is a consumerist trap: “Buying things we don’t want, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”

As creators, we face an additional set of pitfalls. I would offer the producerist trap: “Spending revenue we’re not making, to create art that doesn’t speak to us or our fans, in order to impress peers, parents, and other people who aren’t in our audience.”

This can affect any of us, from symphonies that only perform works that impress professional composers and musicians, to journalists who write stories that only other journalists would be interested in, to audio engineers who buy equipment that only other audio engineers care about.

If you look at good businesses, you’ll notice that they only concern themselves with making things that the market is interested in, and that they can produce cost-effectively. Good artists are surprisingly similar. They only have to concern themselves with what moves them and their audiences. And they only have to do the things that they learn to do well.

But too often, we forget to focus on what really matters in our personal and professional lives. We get wrapped up in our own little creators’ networks and forget who we’re creating for.

Are you writing songs for other songwriters? Newsflash: They don’t care. (Not until you’re dead or out to pasture, anyway. There’s no kind of musician that other musicians love more than a great one who’s no longer working.)

Are you writing fiction that’s aimed at other fiction writers? Good luck with that.

Are you practicing pieces whose sole function is to intimidate other professional performers? Okay. Do your fans care?

Are you writing screenplays only so that other screenwriters will know how clever you are? What kind of sick satisfaction would that be? And why? Do you think you’ll sell one that way?

There are traps laid out for all of us. If you learn to see them, you’re less likely to step directly into one of your own making.