Saturday, 17 January 2015

Staying in the Game - Part 3: Recognition

The writer of the original post states that we as writers need the recognition from others to be seen as writers. It got me wondering why. Why do creative people - writers, visual artists, musicians, etc - need to be recognised as such, whereas other people in other professions do not?

I got my engineering degree and no one doubted my engineering abilities. I did not need to be recognised as an engineer to believe that I am one. All the years of studying definitely got that imprinted into my brain.

Sure, not every creative person has a formal qualification in the arts, but many do, so why the need to be recognised as such? Are we still dealing with a society that thinks that being a writer, a painter or a musician is not good enough? Or are we our own worst enemy?
Do I, Linzé Brandon, believe that I am a writer, an artist? For a while I confused recognition with validation, but no longer.
When you look in the mirror, do you point a finger to your own image and say: you are a writer (recognition) and, at the same time, I write because I want to and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks (validation)?

Being a trained engineer (now project manager) and a writer, this irony of being one but not the other still baffles me. Even the other day someone said that it was a nice hobby - writing books.
I didn't take exception, because I know this person meant it as a compliment of sorts. This is not always the case, and those words do not always come out as admiration of a creative talent. Sometimes people do look down their noses when I tell them that I am a writer.

Although I have been writing for almost fourteen years, published since 2011, it is only recently that I sorted out this problem for myself - I am a writer.
For many though the question remains: am I writer because I think I am, or am I a writer because others say I am? What do you think?