here). I got the impression that my friends and readers thought I was looking for validation. I wasn't, which made me think I hadn't worded the thing correctly. Except that I did.
Regardless, my friend Lisa (who writes wonderfully here) gave me the insight I was looking for. In the comments she said, "There is an affinity when people speak the truth, especially if we share a truth, have similar truths." I thought, "Of course. Of course. That's it!"
Truth. If there is an element to what I do, whether it is writing or artwork, or whatever creative bent I'm on, it's truth. Whether my work is good or bad, eloquent or undignified, I strive for honesty. My innate fear of being misunderstood demands that much, and whatever talent I've got requires it. Besides, the Muses unleash unholy hell if I exhibit any capricious behavior.
I think that, no matter how abstract a work can be, no matter how rudimentary your skills, when you put your heart into it, when you use genuine instinct to create it (rather than any kind if machination or manipulation), the truth shines through.
I think that's quite possibly what people get out of my stuff. Truth. Honesty. They see beyond the creation and get the heart of it.
And that's a whole different kind of validation. Because that's the kind of validation you don't go seeking. That's the kind of validation that just happens.
Which is why I'm still pretty freekin' amazed.