Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Relevance of Irrelevance

Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager is arguably my favorite Borg. She has an attitude about her that doesn't allow for nonsense, and she's a little rough around the edges, too. This holds true especially for her social interactions, in which she makes her fellow shipmates visibly uncomfortable on more than one occasion. (Her attempts at wooing male members of the crew are strong evidence of this.) She questions the rules when they don't follow her Borg logic. If something's irrelevant to her, she will make that known, too.

For me, the struggle between what's relevant and what isn't is a great one. I often find myself chasing after topics that may not interest anyone else. You need not look much further beyond the blog to find that I've drifted a considerable distance away from relevance. Ever since I shifted gears from traditional to self publishing, I can't help but wonder if I still am relevant to my author friends who've stuck with the traditional route. Don't get me wrong. I have plenty of author friends who self-pub and wouldn't dare dream of breaking into traditional publishing these days. I just have to wonder if I still have something to offer those who are still sending out query letters and receiving rejections.

What it boils down to is the concept of mattering. We as people want to matter so badly. It's not something new to us. Ever since the formation of clans and tribes in the wee morning hours of civilization, we have wanted to belong. We want to think that what we do on this planet makes a difference. When NASA goes and finds an astounding 715 new exo-planets beyond our solar system, we tend to think we don't matter. That we're irrelevant.

The best way to make yourself matter is to be proactive in your work. Whether it's housework, a job, writing, creating art, or anything else that can carry a purpose, to avoid becoming irrelevant you must do the work. Wishing for great things to happen to you but never doing anything about it won't make your feelings of irrelevance go away. It'll only make them expand like the Borg collective assimilating everything in its path.

Do the work to make yourself matter. And know that the resistance to hard work being a measure of your success is indeed futile.


Scott said...

I've been hearing a lot of messages in this vein: achieving goals with sweat equity. I don't think a person can hear this message too much.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Scott: It's a rather solid message. People can't be taken seriously in any career or work environment if they refuse to do the work required of them.

Melissa said...

I sometimes feel like it's 'us' and 'them', but most of the writers I've met get along with each other regardless.

I don't know what I have to offer those aspiring to traditional pub, but I do know I don't want follow in their footsteps. Over the last year, I've seen bad experiences and bad outcomes with way too many of the small pub authors I know. No thank you.

I'm about to stroke-out from stress of going indie, but I'll be glad for the effort and the results when it's all said and done.

Arlee Bird said...

This point resonates with me. I find myself heading into weird realms and bouncing of tangents that may be irrelevant to most people. I guess if I thought of something and it interested me then there must be at least a few others interested in the same ideas. I don't think I'm that uniquely strange.

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Clifton Hill said...

As long as you remain relevant to yourself then you will have some sort of audience. I can't cater to all, but I can cater to me, and since my interests are not entirely unique, my work will find a place.

As to how large a "place" that will be, only time and effort can say.