It's what we're all going for, what we're all seeking. Even as we 21st-century artists strive to jump through vaguely-defined, socially-engineered hoops to sell our wares in the cacophonous and severely overstocked marketplaces of this digital age, we're still looking for the same thing that artists of any age have always sought: success. And I think we're just as ill-equipped to define what "success" really means. How crazy is that: to be striving desperately for something, and yet having no clear idea of what that something is?
But I suppose that most of us do actually have some notion of what "success" is, at least on a very personal level. It appears on our horizon in brief flashes, when some stranger posts a positive comment about one of our works, or when we see an inexplicable spike in views or downloads or purchases (or whatever other abacus beads we use to keep accounts on our self-worth). But what is that flash on the horizon, really? Just a mirage?
Well, it certainly seems to indicate that we've connected with at least one human being who clicked and consumed (and apparently appreciated) our work. But how many clicks = success? At some point, we just have to stop counting, stop looking at the graphs and charts, and set our work free to simply find its way (or not). In my case, my most-clicked works have risen to "fame" without the least bit of overt promotion on my part. I have absolutely no idea what made them "popular".
Here is my most-viewed short story recording, among all those that I've married to gently-moving images and posted to my YouTube channel. It's THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, by O. Henry. If you click on the play button and enjoy it -- hey, SUCCESS!