One day Lady Gaga and Tim Tebow will be credited with saving the world of literature. While the same could be said about JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins there is far more to be learned from the success of two of the most polarizing people in sports and entertainment. Their success, much to the annoyance of their detractors, is due in large part to them remaining true to themselves and to their fans.
The people who dislike them are quick to point out their politics. However, this is not about their politics. So then the critics move on to their quirky habits whether it be Tebow’s actions on the football field that result in mockery throughout the world , most recently from hip hop star Snoop Dog , or Lady Gaga’s unique taste in clothing people simply do not stop talking about either of them.
So one has to start to wonder what do they have to do with saving literature. The reason is authors have three things they can learn from them:
- Mean critics are good. Yes people who go out of their way to criticize them really, in effect, only end up helping them. You very rarely see Gaga or Tebow get mean. Rather they seem to take the criticism and use it to their advantage. Tim Tebow was an excellent example of this last year when he would , week after week, save the Broncos from almost certain defeat. The more he did it the more he was criticized and the more people watched him hoping he would fail. Fortunately he did eventually fail at a key moment against my beloved New England Patriots.
- They are original. When I am looking at books to read on Amazon.com it becomes harder and harder to find something good to read. Too many writers are trying to be “the next JK Rowling “ or the “Next Tom Clancy” but readers don’t really want that they want the original of something because a copy , is just that, a copy and they lack the heart and creativity of the original. I am sure when Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were writing they were not trying to be the “next” anyone. They brought their own uniqueness to writing and it stood the test of time.
- They are true to their fans. Whether a person is a “Little Monster” (the affectionate term Lady Gaga has given to her fans) or a someone who enjoys “Tebow Time” Both of them deliver what their fans want, not what the critics want. Yes it is easy to criticize Lady Gaga’s music but if you do not like it you do not have to go to her concerts. Her fans love her and she gives her fans what they want and has made $90 million dollars in 2011.I got bored with the Harry Potter series and despite what would have been logical and completely rewritten the whole Harry Potter series to my liking she did the unthinkable and kept writing books her fans enjoyed. The result is JK Rowling has a net worth of a billion dollars and counting and I still don’t have a series written specifically for me. By some statistical anomaly, JK Rowling came ahead on that one
Long lasting success is based on be true to yourself and by default success of one author actually ends up helping all writers. One day people will learn to read books again and a new golden age of literature will be upon us, and in part it will be due to brave writers following the example set forth by Lady Gaga and Tim Tebow.