Archive: Addicted to Applause

I was a bit appalled to see that only one person read my blog yesterday. The rest of you don’t know what you missed….

Actually that whole thing fits nicely into what happened this morning and the writing thing as well.

I was with the sophomores at Ozark Adventist Academy this morning, talking to them about writing personality profiles. After a few minutes of discussion, I had them break into teams and interview each other and write three-paragraph personality profiles. After that, three of them shared what they had read. Finally, I had each student write their own obituary. They were shocked at first that I would ask them do to this, but after  a few minutes really got into it. “That was fun!” is what both the teachers there said at the end.

I made the comment to Melissa, my daughter, as we were leaving the school that I hate to lecture, doing it only as a last resort, and admitted I like to do fun stuff in class because I am such an “attention addict.” Well, addict wasn’t the word I used, but you get the idea.

And that’s true. A great deal of what I have done in my teen and adult life has been based on this need for approval. When I started academy my freshman year, the “funnybook” editor wanted to know what to put under my picture. My mom told them to write, “clown” under it. I hated that she did that, but it was appropriate for the most part. Later I got into music, singing with the select choir, and really got into it when I discovered the job of singing in smaller groups and solos.

My writing, as I have said before, is continually in search of an audience. I believe that being read is really what motivated writers to write. If someone disagrees with that, I would sincerely like to hear their reason why.

So is this a good thing, or a bad thing? In my rebellious phase (which has been the past 40+ years), there have been times I have done things i know wouldn’t be accepted. My rationale: if you do them on purpose, it’s not as painful to be rejected. Rejection is always painful, and I have had my share, both in romance and in writing. But unless you are willing to risk rejection, you will never be rewarded with acceptance. There’s something philosophical in there somewhere….

In any case, I have come to terms with my addiction. Knowing is half the battle, as they say. I write to be read, but i also write because i feel I have something to say. And I draw the line at writing frivolous frippery (is that a word?) unless I am paid well and good. If I am going to write for free, dagnabbit, it will be stuff I enjoy writing.

So what’s the answer? Go for the spotlight, or labor on in secret in my gibbet, carefully placing sheet after sheet of private musings into a drawer where they will eventually yellow and turn to dust? Hmmm…food for thought.