Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Creative validation

From Wiki: "...validation is the reciprocated communication of respect which communicates that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected, heard... they are being treated with genuine respect as a legitimate expression of their feelings, rather than marginalized or dismissed."

Today I was talking with a friend at work and she told me how her best friend had a booth at an art fair last weekend and sold a few photographs. Said friend was delighted. "She felt really validated in her art," my friend told me.

Validation. It really struck me how important it is to us as writers, artists, musicians, photographers and creative people in general. As writers, when we're unpublished, or go long periods without publication (one friend went 7 years, I admire her dogged determination and grit!), we can feel run down, resigned, even hopeless.

We can feel like a voice crying in the wilderness that is not heard, while other "voices" are being lauded, admired, getting published, winning contests, hitting those best-seller lists, landing the four-book "very good deal" contracts announced in Publisher's Lunch, having their editors treat them to dinner during conferences, having fans fawn over their books, or have long lines at signings.

While we sit at home, writing, slogging through writing, editing, hoping, dreaming.

Praying.

I think this is where it's so important to have support as a writer. Whether you're unpublished, pre-published, published and struggling or just need that assurance, friends or chapter members of your local RWA or online group can really help. They can help validate your creativity in general. They can make you feel it's all worthwhile, and encourage you to keep writing despite it all.

I'm all for validating creativity. One of my distant dreams, if I ever had oodles of money, is to start a foundation for creativity in which artists, from writers to photographers to, well, artists! would get small grants so they could take time off from their day jobs or their part-time jobs, or hire baby-sitters, and concentrate on their craft.

It's a dream, but it would be nice to see it come true some day.

In the meantime, when I meet creative people, I do my best to try to encourage them, spread the word. Later on this blog, I'm posting an interview with the very talented Rachel Piering. Rachel has a show coming up this weekend in Fort Lauderdale called VISUAL HEART.

Here's her website: www.rachelpiering.com

In other news, some sad sad sad news. Tiger was just diagnosed with cancer of the spleen. The vet, such a great, great guy who really cares about animals, found a mass on his spleen. He has maybe 6 months to live.

We could operate, but we suspect it's already spread, as he's having seizures and he's not eating. We don't want to put him through the misery and pain of opening him up. So he's on meds to make him comfortable.

This means we'll have lost three dogs from cancer. I've lost my mom, relatives, friends all from cancer.

I meant it when Sandy from the Good, Bad, and the Unread asked me what my least favorite word was, and I said, "Cancer."

Next week I'll be in Haiti and mostly offline. But please, stop by later to meet Rachel. She's a gifted artist whose art will make you see the world with a different, livelier perspective.

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