I was at the Belfast Maine Poetry Festival this weekend to attend a couple workshops. It was very fun. In the second workshop, a woman I had never seen before was taking her turn reading out loud from an exercise we had just done. She prefaced her work with, "this isn't very good." We all burst into a cacophany of encouragement and praised her for her work, as well as for sharing. It got me to thinking about creative self esteem.
It is so hard for those of us who create any kind of art to feel assured in our work. We usually work in isolation. If anyone knows about our work, they may discourage us. They may feel threatened by the amount of time and effort we put into creatvity, or they may not "get" our work. They may also feel defensive because they themselves would like to be creative, but are afraid.
I was really happy to be part of a group of people who encouraged that particular woman. I hope that happens in creative communities more and more. We may not "get" each other's stuff, but we "get" what it is like to live a creative life.