For those of you not familiar with Everclear ( a band from the 90's) and it's lead singer, Art Alexakis, you just might want to check him/them out. Art Alexakis' writing was what started me on my own writing career. In fact, my first short stories were based off of his music.
Over the years, I've learned two things from him:
1) Writing comes from you. While it doesn't have to be autobiographical, it does need to bleed a piece of you on the pages. My most successful works are the ones that I connect to my readers, and the way to do that, is to share with the reader, to develop an honest relationship with them and with yourself.
Art's songs are sometimes very personal, others aren't. Each are great. Why they work are that the listener believes both to be true.
2) The road to success in music and in publishing is hard, long, and will kill you if you let it. So don't let it. There are ups and downs in your career, but if you love what you do, if you love sitting down at the computer and writing a story, then you have already made it. Don't let others measure your success. Don't let others tear you down because you sell publish or because you didn't sell ten thousand copies. You draw the line. You choose what makes you a success.
Art has had a long, twisting career. He was at the top of his game, opening for Nirvana in the 90's, selling out stadiums, and then he wasn't, and his band broke up. Many thought it was over for Everclear. But Art wasn't done making music yet. While Everclear doesn't sell out stadiums anymore, they still make honest and great music. Everclear's new album is called Invisible Stars, to be released on June 26th. Give it a listen, and you'll see exactly what I mean about connecting to your audience.
Thank you, Art, for lighting the writerly spark in me.