I took my kids to a parade last Saturday to celebrate the coming of summer. Unfortunately, Mother Nature felt the need to mock this celebration, and caused the temperature to drop into the fifties, and the rain to pour out of the sky in sheets. This weather went on all day Friday and most of Saturday.
It was so bad that I actually told my kids we weren’t going. (Yeah, there was no way I was sitting through a parade in the rain—talk about suckatular.) Luckily, about an hour before the set parade time, the rain let up and a few weak rays of the sun came out. We decided to go.
Even after all the rain, the freezing wind and cold temps, the place was packed. And the parade was long. To the parade participants, it didn’t seem to matter that their clothing might get soaked or their hair flattened against their faces. The cold wind didn’t keep them away. They marched on anyway.
The parade watchers were a little more wimpy, bundled up in coats and blankets and drinking hot chocolate. But we were there, watching, supporting, and generally giving the marchers a reason to keep going.
It occurs to me that this same thinking can be applied to lots of things in life. Like writers and readers. Sports players and sports fans. Movie stars and movie goers. As long as the first stays true to the course, the second will be there to cheer them on, even under the most miserable circumstances.
First, though, we have to give our fans a reason to sit out in the rain. What will you do to evoke that kind of following? For me it means hard work, dedication, and some seriously fantastic writing. Because when I end up with serious die-hard fans, I want to know that I worked my tail off to earn that kind of trust and admiration.
And if people ever come to see me in a parade, I’ll be the one throwing candy. (A little bribery never hurt anyone either.)