Monday, November 19, 2018

Authors Get Write Advice From Uber Driver

While giving a presentation on book publicity trade secrets to a group of recently published authors in Nashville, I had an interesting cab ride with an Uber driver who is a struggling songwriter. I never quite thought of things the way he stated them to be, providing insights for authors.

The driver perhaps a decade younger than I am, said he moved to Nashville after he lost his job in the tech industry five years ago.  He decided to pursue his real dream – writing songs for musical talent.

“I have met some really talented people,” he admitted.  “Some are way more talented than me – and they’ve been here longer.”

Hmm, sound familiar?

“I think you have to have talent and work really, really hard,” he added.  “But you have to have luck.  Maybe it’s 20-25% talent, and 75% luck.”

Again, sound familiar?

He told me how he came close to a breakthrough.  One time a famous singer accepted his song and recorded it in a studio, but it didn’t make the final cut to the album that was released.  If it had been published, he might not be Uber-driving today.  Instead, he toils away, knowing the odds of success are low.

But he’s passionate about song-writing and believes or hopes he will break through.

Sound familiar?

Here’s this middle-aged guy driving strangers around the world’s music capital, hoping he gets lucky and lands a deal, believing that even with great talent and a determined work ethic are not enough to succeed.  But maybe luck comes to those who work a little smarter, a little harder, a little differently.

In our capitalist society there are huge winners and heart-crushing losers. We all have a shot, perhaps an unequal one, but one nevertheless, to break through and become who we believe we can be. But the process can be brutal and challenge us on so many levels.

But like this Uber driver who has not given up, you shouldn’t either.  Your day could come – today, tomorrow, in a decade, or never.  As long as you keep trying – and look to take different approaches – you can break through the clutter and build a satisfying writing career.

Maybe what this guy should do is hand out his cards to everyone, maybe even samples of his songs.  Who knows who will be in his cab – maybe his breakthrough will simply come from a conversation.  It’ll be a lucky thing, but it’s luck that derived from his ambition to write songs that led to him driving an Uber.  He’ll have earned his success.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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