I hear many writers talk about the hurt they feel when friends and family don't support or cheer on their accomplishments-- whether it is a published essay, a new book, a special blog feature, etc.. I have to say, I get it. I have experienced the disappointment when a close friend or family member has not supported my endeavors.
I tend to reason it this way: If he/she sent me an email that they got a new job, I would of course write back with a congratulations-- whether or not I even understood the new job. After all, if they are happy and excited, then I am happy for them!
Here's why I think it hurts us artistic folks more: we risk rejection every single day. We put ourselves in a vulnerable position by creating products from our minds and hearts for others to consume. Of course we know not everyone will like what we put out. We know that not even all of our friends and family will like what we create. That's okay. There are better writers than me, or a more skilled painter than the next. Most of us don't do it for others anyway.
However, in risking rejection daily from strangers, I think many of us do hope to find solace and support from those close to us, even just a simple "congrats"-- whether or not they personally love or purchase a piece. When that support doesn't come, when we don't feel that from those close to us, it stings. It can even put a damper on our triumphs, regardless of how hard we try to shrug it off. At least, this is all true for me.
People are busy. Everyone's lives are complicated. I know this. There are a million reasons why your best high school friend or your favorite aunt have been too busy to send you a note of support or to even simply "like" an important post on Facebook. As much as I try to remember that, it can be hard to swallow, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable.
To end on a positive note: I am always touched when a casual acquaintance, a distant friend or relative, or even a stranger shows up-- emotionally, electronically, etc.-- to support my work. It means the world and it never goes without appreciation.
Writers/artists, can you relate to this? Or, if you aren't an artist/writer, do you feel the importance of acknowledging an artist friend's successes?
~Julia @ Frantic Mama
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