Pats On The Head
Or - The Eclectic Kudos, Flaccid Text
Everyone enjoys being appreciated. It’s human nature to want acknowledgement on our effort. People need positive reinforcement and encouragement to produce their best.
Having said that, what springs to mind as the best acknowledgement on your work? Money? Fame? Control?
Very telling, isn’t it.
Money is nice. *snort* Who the hell am I kidding? Money is very nice to have. It’s lovely to receive a check for something you’ve written. Bloody orgasmic.
Fame? Fame’s cool. (I had my 15 min. such as it was) But it leaves you feeling like someone talks to you or writes to you only because your work might be known within their circle of friends. Name-droppers make strange coffee buddies.
Ah, now we come to the REAL acknowledgement.
Think about it. When we were kids, we behaved in a more mature or responsible way to gain control. Perhaps an increase in allowance, more privileges or better curfew. We earned the gains and praise we received. It was a simple math calculation. Good behavior plus responsibility equals greater benefits. Does it get simpler than that?
So as adults, we expect some form of increased benefits for our hard work. Cash, medical benefits, great reviews, good response for a charity, Pulitzer, etc. We feel that we’ve earned some sort of recompense for our effort. If we do something purely altruistic, we expect nothing. I’ve written text for charity organizations as part of my donations budget. But that’s not what we’re talking about here, although even altruism has its “feel-good” rewards.
Back to control.
If we work our asses off, making sure the standard of the work is top quality and well thought out, should there not be some form of compensation for our efforts? Even if it is just enjoying writing for free? Bah and humbug to you if you answered in the negative. My cynical guess would be that you’re not being honest with yourself. But I’m just a pseudonym so what do I know?
Now we come to the crux of the matter. You knew we had to get here eventually. So, here we stand. At the crossroads to Fame, Fortune and Control.
Fortune buys us all those goodies in life we’d just love to have.
Fame gets us recognized, until the next writer comes along.
A certain amount of control over our efforts allows us a modicum of dignity and self-worth. Not to mention feeling confident enough to produce even better work.
When we’re offered creative control as part of a job, we throw our all into it. Our best efforts come from non-restriction. A deadline, yes. Formula writing? That would be a huge, resounding no. Oh sure, we might crank out a formula piece once in a while if the fortune part seems to be dragging the left hind teat. But the wallet has to be really flat.
Allow us the freedom to create. To be ourselves and put ourselves out for the end result. We’ll thrive like a dandelion seed.
Take control away bit by bit and watch us wither. We begin to question our part in the end result. When that happens, you end up with a bunch of malnourished, scrawny, blank-eyed writers. Not even coffee can cure this.
To take away our control piece by piece is to strip us of what makes us writers. You leave us as a cog in a machine. Turning out work day after tedious day. The writing becomes flaccid and indifferent. The aroma of mediocrity rots slowly into the stench of stagnant talent.
If we’re given something other than an empty pat on the head or ever mounting futility, we produce sterling work. We give what is in our soul to give.
parent teacher wife
artist poet coo
humorist woman volunteer student
Some of My Work
Life as Fodder
Life and Sanity
A Humor Column
Martin & Harriet
He's dead, she's not.