Yes, I do realize that I should be saying something to the effect of “Recognition of one’s work is an outstanding personal achievement” or “It is a sign that one’s vision inspires another person” or “It is an indication that your work speaks to others.” Sure, there’s all that, but it’s still weird.
I’m not talking about the kind of recognition given by one’s family that garners a drawing a place of honor on the refrigerator door, nor the type that comes from one’s customers when we peddle our creations to the public. Although these kinds of praise do often make my day, I have in mind those experiences when you find your work publicly being recommended or when your creation is chosen as best over the competition.
For me, it’s a really weird feeling when someone takes note of something I’ve created. While I strive to have my work recognized, simultaneously thrilling and terrifying feelings fill me on those occasions. Rationally I know that judgement has already been passed by someone else, but I find myself looking for flaws in my work, all the reasons why it is not fit for public consumption. Lines from Anne Bradstreet’s ‘An Author to Her Book’ often bounce through my head at these moments. I can’t imagine how I’d react to large scale recognition when small nods of appreciation send butterflies fluttering through both brain and stomach. I can only hope that I might be so cursed to find out someday.