|U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan in 2018.|
Photo by Spc. Markus Bowling.
If you have a lot of money backing your nonfiction media venture, you have a platform. If you don’t, you’re just a nobody screaming at the wind. This is one of the bigger reasons why I’ve largely stopped writing nonfiction and commenting on national security matters. And a Sep. 12 article in The Washington Post on how people born before Sep. 11, 2001 can now enlist in the armed forces helps illustrate exactly what I mean.
The Washington Post paid author Alex Horton to write, “The Afghanistan war has gone on so long that people born after 9/11 can now enlist.” That means the Post sees the issue as newsworthy. A relatively large number of people will read the article and agree.
But guess what? I’ve observed the same thing numerous times and no one has cared.
“Next year, people who were not even born when 9/11 happened will be joining the military,” commentator Jack Posobiec claimed on Twitter on June 29. “They will be joining this year starting 9/12/2018. Eligible citizens are allowed to enlist at 17 with parents’ permission. However, no deployments until 18,” I tweeted in response.
Next year, people who were not even born when 9/11 happened will be joining the military— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 29, 2018
They will be joining this year starting 9/12/2018. Eligible citizens are allowed to enlist at 17 with parents' permission. However, no deployments until 18. https://t.co/ZUSUkkc0H0— Paul Hair (@PaulHair1) June 29, 2018
One person “liked” my tweet. And according to Twitter analytics only 97 people even saw it.
True, a tweet isn’t the same thing as an article. But even if I had written an article, most people would never have read it.
The World Wide Web was the Wild West when it started. And perhaps it was even as recently as the mid-2000s. Anybody who wanted a voice in the public square could start his own website and would have a decent chance of being noticed if he was persistent and produced quality content. Those days are long gone. If you don’t have a billionaire or two backing your media platform now, your nonfiction writings and observations ain’t gonna get noticed.
So I’ve largely stopped writing about national security and other nonfiction issues. However, being an independent author of fiction still seems to be a viable path to potential success . . . for now. And that’s why I’m focusing on that.
Note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.