I Am My Own Biggest Fan

Of two mindsFig. holding conflicting opinions about someone or something; being undecided about someone or something.

This figure of speech has (appropriately) two different meanings.  I’m talking about the first one.  I don’t have any problem making decisions. I decided that I can simultaneously believe that someone should go back in time and kill evil baby Hitler, and also believe that if he’d had Mary Poppins as a governess he could have become a loving, decent human. (Nature AND Nurture)

I get huge amounts of energy from being the center of attention.  I am utterly drained by being in the center of a crowd. (Extrovert AND Introvert)

I analyze a joke to death. I make up weird and wild universes in my mind’s eye. (Left AND Right-Brained)

“The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Crack-Up”, Esquire Magazine (February 1936)

I had a discussion recently where the participants and I argued about our internal reason for creating.  One person creates for monetary reward – completely aware and influenced by the needs of her audience. The other prefers to enjoy the ideas of his creations in his own mind, and never puts pen to paper, not seeing the need to share his joy with others.  Where do I fit in?

I am constantly aware of my blog’s statistics and will discuss, ad nauseam, the relative merits of followers, views and visitors, with anyone who will indulge me. But I do not judge my work on that view count.  I know which pieces are good and which are crap, and that has nothing to do with what you, dear reader, may think. You can share your happy opinion of a creation that I do not like, but nothing you say will influence my feelings.  When I post something that I think is wonderful, and nobody sees it, I imagine all sorts of external influences to distract your views. But if I think it is good, then it is good.

“It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.”
Bill Watterson to the graduating class of 1990 at his alma mater Kenyon College.

My sister read that quote and said: “I’ve never read anything quoted before that sounds so true – but is wholly false for most people. Only a true egocentric could say that with any feeling.”

She’s completely correct. In fact, the quote makes no sense coming from Watterson. Did Watterson truly create only for himself when he made Calvin and Hobbes? Of course not. If he created solely for his own benefit, why bother publishing it in a newspaper? There are far easier ways to make a living. But when I think about it for a moment – parts of it ring true. I don’t allow other people’s judgement of my work to influence my judgement of its relative merit, so am I saying the same thing?

Perhaps what he meant was, “It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when we are our own biggest fans.

I would not post if not for the potential reader. Of course I want you to read, and I want to know that you’ve read. BUT while I hope you gain some pleasure, or at least something to think about from my work, I don’t care if you don’t. As long as there are views, I’ll keep writing, for my own enjoyment.

I am of two minds:  Omnivert. Full brain user. Egotist/Altruist. Obsessed with the audience and my own biggest fan.

I am my own biggest fan
People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them. But really, art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.

2 thoughts on “I Am My Own Biggest Fan

  1. I find I do write for my audience’s enjoyment, but also for what I want to say. I support a number of causes (gun control, animal cruelty protection). I find the people who follow me generally have similar opinions or don’t mind sharing an opposing opinion without any of us coming to blows.


  2. Motivation is both external and internal. Perhaps some of us are more productive responding to internal needs.


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