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nothing in particular

December 18, 2014

I like my own art. I like the finished work(s); I love the creative process.

While it’s true there are some/a lot of my poems I’d hesitate to show someone else, that’s because they’re really personal, or kinda goofy, or so surreal I’m not sure they really work.

I don’t think any of my poems suck. I don’t think I’m a terrible poet. That seems to put me in a minority, at least among my Twitter-friends who are poets.

P, my former therapist, was the Biggest Fan my poems ever had. She’s heard or read more of them than any other person, including Spouse. (Mostly because Spouse doesn’t tend to like my poems, so I’ve stopped showing them to him.)

It seems weird to me that I guess you’re supposed to wait to like your own stuff until other people gush over it, but you still have to keep protesting that it’s not very good. (Even when it’s fricking amazing, you must disbelieve it.) But me liking my own stuff when my friends don’t gush over it . . . it just feels weird.

When I was having a bad time Tuesday night, I actually said, directly, that when I feel bad/stupid/worthless as a writer, I want someone to tell me my poetry is good. Instead, people tell me they think I’m a good person, or that they like me. Which is nice to hear, but . . .

I am aware that everyone’s poetry is not in fact good. It’s certainly possible that mine isn’t good, except in my own fond mind.

But I need someone I know, someone I care about, to actually like my art. Even if it’s not very good.

So, I talk to myself about my own art on Twitter. Wednesday, doing that, I had a flashback to being a little kid, talking to myself while around a group of other kids (recess at school? something like that), trying to interest someone/anyone in what I was interested in. Feeling increasing despair that no one paid any attention to me whatsoever.

When I’m performing work done by someone else, I’ve gotten (some) good responses. When I do my own creative stuff, though, generally people don’t like it.

When I’m trying to ‘pass’ as ‘normal’, even though no one really seems fooled, most people still ‘like’ me better than when I’m actually being myself. It’s very discouraging.

People don’t like my art, and they don’t like me.

Meanwhile, everyone around me is getting specific encouragement on their glorious pieces (not just generalities like: “don’t quit / keep working on your craft!” that they say to anyone at all), but I’m getting: “you’re a great person!” “don’t be so down on yourself!” And a bunch of my Twitter-friends who are poets — who do not all know each other — are getting poems published. But they still feel bad about themselves, and I try to be supportive, but… am I having any effect on anyone at all? Hard to say.

It feels monstrously selfish to admit out loud that I want positive feedback on my poems.

I would also really really like someone who knows me to tell me something that, from their perspective, I’m doing well.

I need data that I can’t get from inside my own head. I need detailed specific feedback.

I guess friends do that. (Mostly my friends have been better at telling me what I’m doing wrong, if they even talk about stuff like this, which a lot never have.)

I generally have no idea how other people perceive me, so I default to thinking they think I’m stupid, or annoying; or they just never notice me at all. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!)

I’m beyond tired, even though I got enough sleep last night. This post seems barely coherent even to me, but I’m not going to self-censor on my own blog just because I’m unsettled, cranky, confused, and not sure what to do about all this.

I can’t change my personality to be more likable. I tried that as a kid. I hated the ‘new me’, and everyone else still disliked me — the worst of both worlds! I don’t want to change my personality — I like me.

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