Kiss up & recognize
Let’s face it getting the approval of your peers is awesome. Another ‘harsh’ reality is when people kiss your ass, though it can also be awesome. Whether you have something someone wants and you’ve reached a certain level of success that people want to associate with, or you’re just the newest fad or trend in the latest burst of trends and fads, it’s all pretty damn cool.
It’s a challenge to say what should be the level of importance it plays in your life.
The key, in my own mind, is to differentiate between appreciation and self-importance. Don’t ever forget that our work is unique in that it’s dual-purpose. It provides us with an outlet from our worldly dilemmas or inability to express ourselves, while also directly communicating with the world.
That’s powerful stuff, man.
Don’t confuse ‘our work’ with ‘our art,’ because it was never ours to begin with.
Recently, I’ve felt less like an author and more like a conduit, which circles our wagons back to recognition.
Do I deserve recognition for being able to effectively type or communicate in a way other people cannot? Maybe so, but I try to operate with the thought that while it’s always nice, it’s not necessary. If I have a ‘gift,’ thank the muses/fates for giving it to me. (Don’t forget to slap me around a little bit for taking so long to take it seriously.)
Is all this to say its bad if you want the recognition? I think not at all. I like goals because everyone has them. I think it’s healthy for an artist to have things he/she would like to achieve through their work. For example, if the New Yorker came knocking and said they wanted to profile the internet’s most prolific writer because I’m so fantastic, I would gratefully oblige.
In all seriousness, I think what matters most is that you put your work out there without fear and with acceptance, of both positive and negative feedback. Anything that happens after that is a bonus.