In the midst of evolving into a poet one can get lost in the praise of others. It can be easy to soak up the excitement of fictitious words spoken by poets who merely want the same response from you. The key to being a true artist (of any kind) is to be drawn in because you love it. Being new to the game can seem like the world is upon one's shoulders because you read the work of other poets and strive to be as good and even better than those you admire. The answer is not to be like someone else, not to be as good as or better than anyone else, the answer is individuality. Everyone has something to say, everyone has a story to tell and everyone wants to share it in their own way. When you tell yours use your own heart not your ego. If you write just to hear someone tell you how great you are then what are the words to you but a pile of meaningless vocabulary? The commentary of others should mean very little to you. You should NOT be here for the votes; you should NOT be here to be recognized for your work. You should be here because your heart is in poetry. You should be here because your love for art is life. You should be here because without poetry life would seem worthless...I know mine would. The poetry I create is the story of my being. My poetry is my heart striving not to be great and not to receive praise but to express ME. I write to heal the pieces of me that have been blessed and even hurt by the trials of life and love; the pieces of me that have been touched by angels upon our earth. I never once think twice of the eyes on the other side because that would alter my words. That would make my true feelings different from what's in my heart and I could never jeopardize who I am to please anyone else...why would you?
I believe a necessity to being part of the craft is to learn to write simply to share who and what you are without one single care of who may and may not like what you have to say or how you say it. I think it's incredibly important to discover the passion within your heart that will allow you to be worry free of how the outside globe sees you. You have a voice and if you wish to speak out, do so. Speak to the world because you simply love your art not because you want them to reply. What we have here is special, it's priceless, it's amazing! What makes it less special are those who become arrogant with words of tribute and admiration. I think people easily forget that poetry is more than words to those who are footloose in this circle. It's more than just the face value when your mind, body, and soul are in the art. Everything I see and everything I hear is poetry to me. My life is my writing. It would be a bit offensive to ME to see "poets" spitting fire to be the best. You will NEVER be the best! In the eyes of a realist there will always be better. In the eyes of an artist there is no best...the love for creativity should carry you high enough. The love for freeing your inner being should be payment enough. You should feel no need to receive statements of honor; quite frankly, it should mean nothing to you.
Before anyone jumps the gun let me say I have regular readers who ALWAYS make me smile. I have readers who read my work and make the path to my healing and surviving even easier because they show that they care, that they understand, and sometimes that they've even been touched or inspired. That is special and should be treasured for a life time. BUT I know within my heart if those regulars stopped reading my heart, my writing would still continue. "The show must go on" people! With or without their words of encouragement my poetry will not change nor will I. When I write the only thing that speaks is ME, not the people who observe from the other side of the fence!
The point to all of this is just to say that we should be writing because we enjoy it, because we are in love with creating, not to generate a fan base. Especially not on this site because the majority of the praiseful comments that we receive are from the hungry attention getters that really don't give a damn about what you've written. Love what you do simply because you do!