Thursday, February 17, 2011

Identify Crisis

I think it's probably time for me to accept that what I do is worthy. Yes, I toss it all out here every day, and yes, I think I have some skill. Even so, I continue to question what it's worth to anyone but myself. It's not a self-deprecating issue. It's more of a... I don't know... morbid fascination with the notion that anyone else gets anything out of what I do.

Just after I'd hit the "publish post" button on yesterday's babbling, I received an email from the good folks over at A River of Stones (here). They were the ones responsible for me participating in the Month of Stones: Small Stones challenge in January. Well, boy howdy, now they're putting together a Book of Stones and they've chosen one of my posts to be in the book! (Read it here.) Zounds! This will make the fourth bound publication to feature my work.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... it's not just you. My Muses are also rolling their eyes and saying, "Well.... duh! And why the hell wouldn't they?!"

Honestly though, it's not a lack of confidence on my part. Art is subjective and I'm grown up enough to know that not everyone is going to relate to what I "say" with it. I mean, someone can be a great musician, but if you just don't like their musical style, they're not going to do much for you. Picasso was brilliant, but I just don't really get him. Don't hate me, but I feel the same way about the works of Hemingway (although I've read most of Papa's stuff just out of... literary geek obligation?).

So, whenever someone identifies with my work, work that feels utterly personal to me (no matter whether it's writing, art, music, etc.), I'm always a little taken aback. I always have that feeling of deep curiosity, wondering just what about it could have spoken to them. Maybe I should quit wondering (not bloody likely) and just do the stuff.

I know, I do it anyway. Why are we even having this discussion?


  1. You said you wonder and have a "morbid fascination with the notion that anyone else gets anything out of what I do."

    I get it. I think I even get you although I know you only in this virtual space. There is an affinity when people speak the truth, especially if we share a truth, have similar truths. I have the same curiosity and regularly ask myself why the heck to I bother? My fourth year at this is approaching and I have no real idea if what I write matters to anyone else. It is nice to get a bit of affirmation periodically.

  2. Congrats on being published, yet again!

    i understand where you're coming from, but i've (mostly) stopped wondering why others respond positively, when and if they do. i love what i do, and decided long ago that even if those around me thought it was garbage, i would continue, regardless. It's nice, though, when someone relates to what you've created. Yes, we all like some validation every now and again, but what i really love about it is it makes me feel less alone, a human condition i've struggled with for years. And when they connect with my art, maybe they feel a little less alone, too.

  3. You too with this self-validation thing. I love it when people respond to what I write but at the same time I feel that I have to write what I have to write whether people like it or not.


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