I have always understood that the things I do on a creative level are for my own, personal enrichment and not necessarily for the benefit of anyone else. I do not keep up this blog because I feel an obligation to my readers nor do I feel compelled to write for anyone else's eyes. I write because it transforms me. There is a part of me that heals with each post... Even if it's just on an intellectual level. Sometimes I write babble which helps me organize the thoughts rattling around in my brain. The act of physically writing down what's in my head is cathartic. The same goes for photography. The most important part of the entire process for me is the actual shooting of the photograph. The act itself forces me to pay attention and be aware when I would otherwise be distracted. It makes me notice the details. It requires me to be present and in the moment. The fact that I have a permanent reminder of the moment is only icing on the cake.
Now... Having said all of that, I will admit that I am not indifferent to praise and appreciation. I love the fact that people read, comment and enjoy my blog. It's a wonderful feeling and I would never turn away from it. But, it's only an added benefit. Just a bonus. The same goes for my pictures. I am thrilled that so many people have my photographs to enjoy and remind them of wonderful times and cherished moments. But it is not why I shoot. Art is subjective. It is influenced by feelings, beliefs, emotions and preference. It is different for everyone and so individualized that you cannot define it for someone else. This is why I have NEVER considered professional photography. Being concerned with someone else's response would ruin the entire process for me. Staying true to that ideal brings tremendous freedom.
When someone appreciates the creativity of another person there is a sense of relationship. We acknowledge a common ground. We have something we can agree upon even if everyone else in the world disagrees. We have a mutual respect. Experiencing this is unique and truly, truly grace filled.