Today I felt a little tinge of amazing grace. I was sending out notification letters to the authors whose novels were included into the prize’s long-list. Some immediately responded, and without exception they all showed great delight at the news. It was then that I felt an amazing feeling. A writer might write solely out of passion for the word, but recognition of his or her work is like this extra which makes the good even greater. Though I have often looked with ambivalence at those so-called literary events, thinking they are just for a bunch of well-off privileged pretending to be cultural when they are just socializing among themselves laughing off boring poetry readings and eating off 2-course lunches costing like $250 in some fancy restaurant in Central. But somehow, I guess, despite the promises of prize money and publicity and all those stuff, writers are most happy when recognized. I think that is true for all artists. We can be international best-sellers earning millions touring all over the world, we can be modest amateurs who don’t get published at all. But with recognition, we can be just as happy. That is the Grace for the artist.
Just now, the radio was playing “Way Back Into Love” from Music and Lyrics. Part of the film is about seeking recognition. Somehow, recognition is similar to love. Your worth is recognized, you feel loved. And when love is lost, you feel unworthy. Strange that our self-esteem depends so much upon how other people think. Seems it is not enough even if you know your own worth. You just need to be reassured. I desperately need to find my way back too.