Goth and the post-punk music movement grew up in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, like me. It had its ups and downs, heartfelt crushes and experiments with make-up, clothes, and friends. There were new mixes of composition, recording, dance, style, and sounds that came together to form something unique. It became the post-punk movement, yet there was no concerted movement. Bauhaus, Modern English, and The Cure didn’t sit down on the porch over tea and discuss the post-punk opportunities for new musical styles. They did what they did, and they did it to their own taste, meeting their own expectations. They pleased their own senses and made the music scene their own. People flocked because it rippled in their collective consciousness, their time had come.
Writing is meeting your own expectations, choosing subject matter that is meaningful to you, and placing yourself in the market because you wrote. Like bands who sang in new ways, wrote about things not discussed in polite company, things will resonate when their time comes. There are people in the world who will not only appreciate your work, they will need it. Sensations like Harry Potter can only be explained in terms of their time having come. The boy who lived struck a chord in millions upon millions of people, and the evil he defeats is as much within himself as it is in others.
There are songs bands wrote that flopped. Many. And there will be things we write that flop. Many. But some stand out for me. Shadowplay by Joy Division reminds me of Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. The world he creates distends, like a balloon being sat upon, until it pops, and his characters finally realize that they have created a nightmare of their own lives, in trying to live out their dreams. Killing Time by Echo and the Bunnymen touched a nerve, much like Watchmen by Alan Moore. My friends and I shared copies of that book for a year, reading and re-reading it, discussing it, loving it. I had to buy Porcupine three times, wearing it out learning the lyrics, singing, listening to it over and over. Watchmen, in addition to the awesome graphics, reached out to young people and touched a nerve about authoritarianism and human failings.
The door is wide open. Writing is your journey. Others can encourage, but only you can write to please yourself. Just know that when you do, your work will be appreciated and needed. You just have to find the venue, and know that your time has arrived.