Okay, so most of the time I like to book geek out in these blogs but after seeing “The Greatest Showman” featuring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, I just had to blog about it.
Guys, it has been such a long time since I was so in love with a movie, I actually shared the title. However, this particular movie was as beautiful as a book to me. It was all about dreams and what trials you have to face in order to become what you desire to become.
What Authors Can Learn from the movie
The way the movie starts shows the true genius of the screenwriter. It begins with a wild scene featuring the final dream PT Barnum had for himself. Of course, the 20th Century took some creative liberties but instead of subtracting from the power of the scene, it actually enhances it. The CG of the animals brings out the characters who interact with the graphics flawlessly. I would recommend this movie to anyone who dares to dream!
It begins with a dream… Something burning inside
Moving on, the movie begins with a dream that does not seem obtainable. Phineas T. Barnum is the son of a tailor in love with a higher class girl named Charity whom he makes laugh. The two quickly strike a childhood romance which blossoms into their adulthood. Barnum is an innovative genius stuck behind a dead end desk job he gets fired from.
Doubts Can sink in…What Can you do for your readers?
He begins to doubt his dreams until the inciting incident when he decides to buy a wax museum. His two young daughters, after finding he is struggling to gain attention, tell their dad he needed something alive to draw people in.
“You need something alive. Something sensational.” — Carline Barnum
Guys, this is crucial! As an indie author, I have learned the value of thinking about the readers over myself. It has to be about the book first, then it has to be about them.
There will be dry spells…Find Your Team!
Back to the movie, so seeing he is struggling in sales, what does Barnum do? Does he give up? NO! He gets real people often overlooked by the common crowd and brings them into his museum at the time. First though, he has to go out and find the attractions! He does his “hoof work”. What happens, he gets his team together! Then people begin coming in and he starts seeing results!
This is a perfect strategy! Realize you may not see sales right off the bat. There are dry spells but keep working! Your book is NOT going to sell itself! You have to work! Find your team! Market with fliers! Give books to libraries and build bonds and networks!
There Will Be Haters…What can you do in the face of bad reviews/press?
In the movie, Barnum had his fair share of haters and doubters in his dream. The newspaper mocked him. The critic called him a fraud, a poser, a humbug. What did he do? Did he give up? Absolutely not!!! He made a golden crown with the words “Prince of Humbug” on his top hat. We, as authors have to face it. We are going to see a horrible, maybe even hateful review. It can be crushing! Again, be like Barnum! Contact them and laugh it off in a respectful way or ignore them. P.T. did and look at his legacy! We still enjoy his marvelous show all over the world!
“However big, however small. Let me be part of it all. Share your dreams with me.”
Do NOT Forget Why You did it in the first place!
A powerful point I found in the movie that really resonated was the part when the character of Barnum in the movie forgot why he chose to what he did in the first place. He sunk into providing what the common audience wanted instead of what he loved to do. Authors tend to do this too. They forget why they chose to write in the first place. They choose to get “blinded by the late” as P.T says in the movie instead of doing what they love and remembering why they love it.
It isn’t easy….but it’s worth it!
The praise for this movie can go on and on but the truth is there. It is all about dreams and what it takes to reach them. Guys, being an indie author is not easy. Never will you see those words here. It is a ton of work but in the end, if you keep going even through the desert, you will see results. Just remember why you published in the first place. Why you decided to pick up this passion in the first place. Then you will have your greatest show and have everything you ever want and need!
“The noblest art is that of making others happy” — P.T Barnum
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” — P.T Barnum