I’ve had a busy weekend. What I originally planned to be a weekend full of chocolate, kid’s movies and PJ days turned into a weekend of dancing, drinking and hangovers. I think in the last few days I’ve barely had one proper meal a day. It’s the kind of partying you hear about the hot young celebs doing and to be honest with you all... I can’t figure out how they manage it. I’m exhausted, I ache all over and I just want to spend a day feeling normal instead of feeling like my stomach’s trying to crawl out of my mouth and my legs are going to stop working on the stairs so that I tumble to my crumpled death at the bottom.
You’re probably wondering why I’m bragging about my ‘awesome’ weekend instead of talking about writing or something. BUT. It is actually relevant. This busy weekend got me thinking about creative types and our need for validation. Most artists, writers, poets, singers, musicians, actors etc are constantly seeking feedback. Whether it’s a ‘well done’, a piece of advice or just the knowledge that someone’s looking at what they’ve put out there, creative types want validation of some kind. If you don’t agree with me I’d really suggest not reading what comes next. Come back in about three paragraphs. I feel so strongly about this matter that I ended up with heartburn as I wrote it.
Even if people try to say ‘oh no, I just do it because it’s what I love. I don’t do it for the money/praise/fame/30 whores a year.’ It’s a lie. A great big pork pie that would make Pinocchio’s nose stretch out and punch a whole through his fairy godmother’s ample bosom in a shower of blood and gore. Her still warm heart would be on the end of it. It’d beat.
|He wouldn't be smiling then!|
If the creative types didn’t want some form of validation they’d keep whatever they create hidden, out of the public eye. I know this because I used to do it, still do sometimes. I’d draw because I wanted to and just put the products in a folder. I’d write because I’d get the idea and then put it in a folder. I never thought about showing it to people. I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t want the negative feedback that would more than likely appear, (well...maybe a little) but because they felt incredibly personal to me. They were my babies and I didn’t want anyone looking at them (Kind of like my lady-parts). That is the attitude of someone who just does it because they love it. People who claim they create because that’s what they love but still insist on putting it out there? I’m afraid they’re big fat fibbers.
It might be a big motivation but it’s not the only reason. There’s no denying it. There’s a reason why there’s Google Analytics and about a hundred other site traffic trackers out there. Creators (‘creative types’ is just getting too long to type out every time) want to know that people are looking at their work. It makes them feel important, even if someone just comes on to the site they have for a second. I know this because that’s what I do; I blog because I want to ramble at people about my writing and drawing but I don’t want to ramble at my family. There’re some things that are too weird even for them. Also, they end up throwing things at me. Still... I like to talk/type and I like to know that someone, somewhere is listening.
Should you create because you love it? Yes! That should be one of the biggest motivations behind what you do, if it isn’t then you’ll end up bored, dissatisfied and bitter. You know that feeling I mean; sort of like when you go out for food at a fancy place and it tastes like dog’s ass. Is there a tiny part of you that wants the fame/recognition/30 whores/money that you get for creating? Yes! There has to be or you’d just be keeping everything hidden. We creators need to start accepting the fact that we’re needy little bastards. We want to be noticed. It’s why we do what we do.
|One of the worst offenders|
You’re probably wondering why I bothered to mention my weekend at all at the beginning of the post. It doesn’t seem relevant to the hate-filled, heartburn inducing, 500 word rant I’ve just spilled out. It’s relevant you see because I got thinking. What if a creator’s need for recognition and validation of their work extends into their life and they need themselves to be validated by the attentions of others. Maybe that’s why you hear about all these creators marrying strings of partners, flitting between them like a wasp who’s had too much of that cider that spilled on the patio. So many of the modern celebrities are checking into rehab, ending up on the news for things completely unrelated to why they’re famous in the first place. They just want to be seen, to be known, to be noticed. The attention of the press, the fans, angry judges...it all makes them feel as though they themselves matter. Creators can end up relying on their partner for constant care and reassurance. They expect their S.O.s to drop everything to check their works and give them ‘reassurance’, to hold them when the papers give them yet another bad review.
|Yes... I'm looking at you LiLo|
And it’s only getting worse. The internet just keeps growing and growing. More and more people are becoming internet savvy. I’m almost there myself in fact and this thing scares me half the time. It’s gotten easier and easier to create your own website, advertise, grab people from all over the world. The cases of the self-made celebrity are growing. With them though is a bigger, constantly growing need for validation. Maybe we should form support groups? You tell me I’m awesome I tell you you’re pretty. Granted it’s not all bad. There’s no longer this sense of elitism about the creative world. You can get 100 fans and never leave the comfort of your own home. Truly exceptional artists and writers are distributing their creations when before in the years before they may never have had the chance.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that...maybe... us creators should try not to let our need for validation of our work become a need for validation of our very existence. For all our sakes.
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