It is a lonesome thing. To be an artist.
When you are an artist, you are truly alone. Or should I say, being an artist unquestionably brings on a realization that we all are alone. Whether we like it or not.
It is for each of us to know how we figure in the genre/community you work in and it is for us to know if what we are doing is any good. Nobody is going to tell you. Ever. And even if someone decides to give us an honest (whatever that means) opinion, it is just that. It’s an opinion. If that person is in a position of power and s/he has positive reaction to the work, it can mean something but it still doesn’t say anything about the goodness/badness/soulfulness/pointlessness/beauty/roughness of our craft. Not in an absolute way which all artists ache for. It is such a lonely place to be.
There was a period of time in my life when I used to frequent poetry slams at the Nuyorican and Bowery Poetry. I wanted someone to tell me if I was any good. My ego wanted praise and my insecurity craved approval. I fared alright. I won some nights and I got invited to invitation-only Friday slams. Some people came up to me to say how they loved my writing. All that didn’t give me the confirmation I was looking for because that’s the wrong place to look.
It is for me to know. If I’m writing piece of shit or if I’m any good. I have to decide. I had to get with myself. And that’s rough. That’s lonesome.