First, because I seem to hate myself on some subconscious and sometimes physical level, I’ve decided to write the sequel to my novel Beware the Ills in one month… Yes, that’s four hundred pages in one month, plus a month to copy edit. I might be dead by the time October runs around, since I have another novel coming out in that time span that requires attention. Yeah, I might die. Anyways, all this complication from my writing stuff was produced by a phenomenon known only as Modern Artist Masochism, or because as Americans we all love acronyms — MAM.
Whenever we as artists or writers (I’ll use writer in this post because that’s what I am) tend to have a little success we have this almost biological urge to jump ship from the very project that has earned us even the slightest bit of acclaim. We get success, and we immediately want to change our style, voice, or content away from the product that earned us an audience. We think, “well if they liked this piece, wait till they get a load of this other one.” This paradox stems from the modern stereotype that change implies better, where in reality change can sometimes be bad or good. The really talented writers can preserve their can change their style, but also leech onto what made them popular and universal in the first place. Their personality survives the change in narrative. Their personality is too powerful it can’t be contained by a certain genre. The vast majority of us do have a voice that matches with a genre, and if it this magnetic force is disturbed, we lose our presence as storytellers completely.
Furthermore, don’t think you can’t change style or genre if you want, just don’t do it when you’re in the midst of success. Failure and success are two sides of the same coin, eventually you’ll flip it enough times to get one or the other. If you flip it while you’re being successful, you can only fail. Time will make popularity in your writing dwindle; therefore, then it’s time to change. Diversity of artistic content has made us all masochists with our own projects. We just jump to something new without thinking, and this inflicts pain on us. We make this wrong decision often, so no wonder that we hate ourselves. We knowingly inflict pain upon ourselves while being successful… Welcome to MAM.