Recently, my family had the privilege of seeing rock legend Elton John in concert. Whether or not you are a fan of Elton's music, you can't deny that the man is a success. At the age of 66 he continues to record music, tour extensively, and sell more records than many artists could ever dream of. So, as I sat in the concert arena with my ears ringing and my throat hoarse from singing the strains of "Crocodile Rock", I started to think: what made him the iconic celebrity he is today?
Hard Work: If you've ever seen Elton perform, you know he's no slacker. His concerts are two-and-a-half hours of non-stop energy. He puts his all into every note he sings and every note he plays. His tours generally encompass most major cities in the United States as well as some overseas.
Dedication to His Fans: He knows what they want, and he delivers. Elton made it a point to involve his audience, often inviting them to sing along with him, enticing them to clap to the beat, and addressing them after each song with a bow. He thanked them for being there and believing in him, noting that they were the reason he does what he does.
Attention to Detail: The stage was set perfectly, sound checks were done, a glass of his favorite beverage provided to keep him from getting cotton mouth. Lights flashed at appropriate times, speakers were adjusted for the perfect sound. Merchandise vendors knew what items to recommend, ushers made sure everyone found their seats, ticket takers made sure no one "slipped" in who hadn't paid to be there. Every T was crossed, every I was dotted. No detail was overlooked.
Working with the Right People: Over the years, Elton John has networked with some of the finest in the industry, and in doing so, has helped boost himself to super stardom--Bernie Taupin (songwriter), Nigel Olsen (legendary drummer/musician), and of course, Billy Joel. He has connections and uses them wisely.
How does all this relate to writing, you say? Think about it. If we work hard at our craft, remember the role our readers play in what we do, pay attention to detail in our work(engaging stories, strong characters, thorough editing), and surround ourselves with others who can help boost our careers, we are sure to find success as authors. Elton's an artist, and we are as well. Keep on the "Yellow Brick Road" and maybe someday you'll see your name in lights, too! Happy writing!