Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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With the Oscar awards ceremony just concluded, I got to thinking: There are so many fabulously talented actors and actresses, directors and producers, animators and screenwriters out there. There are so many others behind the scenes who I don't even know about or will never quite understand what it is they do. They all work so hard. Their work consumes them. And they've likely been at it for a very, very long time, dedicating every waking moment to their craft.
The winners, of course, get to bring home those coveted gold trophies. Their futures are pretty much guaranteed. They have huge name recognition and probably have to fight off the paparazzi and scores of fans that stalk them, read about them, have plastic surgery to look like them and want to be them.
They're the ones who probably say, "I came out of the womb acting/singing/dancing/knowing-I'd -be-a-star."
And what of the losers? To me, just the fact that they've been nominated is huge. Who is to say that their contributions are less worthy than the others? But, it's all a contest, after all, and only one person in each category can win. Otherwise, there would have been no Oscars for the last 87 years—and no motion pictures since the 1890s.
Interestingly, it's not as simple as it seems (or maybe it is, if you're someone who knows a lot about this kind of thing). The biggest correlation to predict an Oscar nomination is being in a very serious movie, according to a UCLA sociologist's research. Dramas are nine times more likely to get nominations. And size matters: the fewer films that are released, the better the odds are that any one movie gets a nomination.
Still, with these dire odds, plenty of people continue to make and act in movies. They do it for the sheer love of it. They do it because it's all they know how to do. They do it because they must.
So what does this all have to do with my blog?
Well, here's the thing: I write because that's what I love to do. And, if given an assignment, I can write about just about anything. I've written about erectile dysfunction, calcium, breast cancer, midlife, heart disease, meditation, sleep, osteoporosis, Botox—you name it. Just don't ask me to write about quantum physics or some very ancient religion or the science behind what makes dough rise.
But to rise to the realm of blogging superstar? That's different. To win an award, get a book or film deal (think Julie and Julia), get a cooking show (think Pioneer Woman), get thousands of "likes," "followers," "friends" or comments, you have to live it, breathe it, network it, be a conference-hound, self-promote and put yourself out there.
And you have to have something to say—preferably dramatic—almost all the time. Because if you don't, your readers will lose interest and forget you ever existed. That's not good for people like me, who are usually quiet unless they have something worthwhile to say. I'm just not a natural "chatterer."
Face it, to be a celebrity blogger, you have to practically come out of the womb loving to blog—and we all know that blogging wasn't around when we came out of our mother's wombs (at least not my mother's).
Don't get me wrong. To all the bloggers who work really hard and win awards, I admire your passion, talent, dedication and sheer ability to have so much to say.
But for me? I'll just sit here and write when the mood strikes. I'm happy to do that.
To the academy: I can dip a toe in—but I just can't play.
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This post originally appeared on mysocalledmidlife.net.