The Toronto Star recently featured a column about Canadian writers grumbling over their inability to win literary awards. This caused me to ask: just why are you writing books? To win awards?
I guess it's OK if the answer is yes. But in my case, I'd far rather have readers tell me my books have inspired them and encouraged them to go out and capitalize on the advantages life offers. That's my reward. I mean, let's be honest: we live in dire times. To have readers tell me my words motivate them to elevate their lives means so much to me personally.
All of this did make me think back to the day when my corporate communications company produced more business videos than any other firm in Canada. I was proud of that, but even prouder that the videos we produced for our clients were achieving big success markers. But one of my producers began complaining in a production meeting about why we didn't submit our work to the corporate/industrial video awards that had begun to pop up. "Listen, we don't make videos to win awards," I said. "We make videos – and we make more of 'em than anyone else, so we must be doing something right – to help our clients achieve their goals. We are recognized for that by our customers, and that suits me just fine. All these videos that are winning awards because of their Star Wars-type lighting effects and that kind of thing... they may look good, but are they achieving success? You do have to ask: is this glitzy stuff solving the clients' problems? That's what we're in the business of doing: solving our clients' problems."
Sure, I relented and let the staff send in their picks for awards. And yeah, we even won some. But that didn't matter much to me. What mattered was the customers who boasted about how good our work was.
Guess it just depends where your priorities are.