Thursday, November 25, 2004 +

The Need for Appreciation the outer... recently asked himself:

why am I blogging? Do I blog so that I get visitors, 90% of whom who have no interest in what I have to say, and can't wait to get out of my site, or do I blog for me?

Actually that is the key reason I started this blog. For me. But, of course, part of the ‘me’ reason, I suppose, is also this ego-driven craving for an audience—the need to have an interaction with the outside world. Perhaps, that is the problem.

Though all is vanity, the need for appreciation is human and divine:

No artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition that cannot be gainsaid. I have, let me confess in all humility, a pitiful human wish that someone should know just how clever I have been....
—Justice Lawrence Wargrave, in Agatha Christie, Ten Little Indians

Nothing is so obvious in a child—not in a conceited child, but in a good child—as its great and undisguised pleasure in being praised. Not only in a child either, but even in a dog or a horse.
—C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

No man is pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
—Samuel Johnson, Letter to Lord Chesterfield, February 7, 1755

What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is PRAISE—although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!
—William James to Henri Bergson, 13 June 1907

For a writer there is no substitute for being published and read.
—Charles Scribner, Jr.

An artist has every right—one may even say a duty—to exhibit his productions as prominently as he can.
—Jacques Barzun, “Berlioz as man and thinker”, in Bloom, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Berlioz

[Barzun summarizing Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Mind of the Maker] Its thesis is that the ordinary experience of making anything—creating art or applying workmanshnip to any object—corresponds to the meanings symbolized by the Trinity. First comes the creative Idea, which forsees the whole work as finished. This is the Father. Next the creative Energy, which engages in a vigorous struggle with matter and overcomes one obstacle after another. This is the Son. Third is the creative Power of the work, its influence on the world through its effect on the soul of the user-beholder. This is the Holy Spirit. All three are indispensable to completeness as they unite in the work.
--From Dawn to Decadence

[Before blogs] And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
--Genesis, 1, 31

In any case, this is what I am going to do in for at least the next seven days. I am going to resist the temptation to surf for credits, even if that means a reduction of visitors to my site, and I am going to spend the next week, writing and visiting blogs like I used to do before BlogExplosion, with the exception of also visiting the blogmarked sites as well. Let’s see how long I can withstand the temptation not do the click-clickety thingy. . .

Silence is also appropriate:

Silence is precious. It is the foundation upon which beauty of soul materializes. . . . If we we control our tongues for but one or two days, we shall see our faith and duties and ideals in a new and wonderfully clear light. How often speech serves not merely to clothe thought, but to drive it away as well!
—Bishop Ottokar Proháskza, “The Man of the Desert [John the Baptist]”, in Meditations on the Gospels