no but really, like
i know that some folks love telling creative people that “you should be doing it for fun because you love it not for the compliments” but creative people thrive on feedback whether it’s critical or just complimentary
so when i write fanfiction and don’t get any actual feedback i feel like i spent all that time and energy doing it for nothing because i’m not getting feedback from the people i wrote it for
doing something you’re proud of and then presenting it to the sound of utter silence is like the worst feeling on earth
I know the feeling of this.
i like to think: what if you were in a play and you spend all that time learning your lines and your cues and going to rehearsal for hours and hours and being bone tired and then getting up on stage opening night and giving it your all only to be met with silence from the audience at the final curtain call. No one would question why that upset them.
An art instructor in my childhood said something to me I’ve never forgotten – that a work of art isn’t complete until it has been experienced – seen, heard, etc. That this wasn’t just some abstract concept, but a visceral truth for the artist – that the work wasn’t DONE until the end result had been witnessed, appreciated, critiqued – whatever, it didn’t have to be positive negative knowledgable, it just had to happen as the concluding event, the final brush stroke.
Some folks who don’t get it go about thinking we make art or write fic because we crave praise or attention or fans, or even that some writers/artists thrive on negativity and drama (and to be sure, all of these things are true some times!). But that’s too narrow an understanding of why we art. I think my art teacher was telling a fundamental truth about the psychology of creativity – that art is a communal experience, that until we share our creative work and see how people respond, we do not have closure on that work.
Art is communication – and communication shouted into the void is frighteningly isolating. We need our readers our viewers our audience. We need to hear what you think. We need to converse in comments, answer your counter thoughts or thoughtful critique, we need the conversation – that’s what art is 🙂
Never feel bad for desiring feedback – it’s not some extra frill that exists outside of the creative process. It is a critical part of the creative process – and if you cannot find your audience in one venue, don’t give up. Keep putting your art out there until your audience finds you 🙂
I don’t make art because I enjoy it. I make art because I am trying to communicate. And if it fails to elicit any response at all, or I can’t even tell if anyone saw it/read it then I have failed, or will suspect I have failed, to communicate and I’m gonna feel bad about that.
Same goes for writing folks.