As I walked upon the smiling streets that glided through the city like winding rivers, I came upon a curious gentleman that gazed upon me like a child at his birthday cake. Something seemed strange about this man. I didn’t know whether to ignore him or say something. The man was beside himself as he blurted out in an anxious voice, “Aren’t you the author that wrote the book, Meditations on Life? My family and I read some of it to each other every night before we go to bed. Would you be so kind as to autograph it for us?”
I was so shocked to find someone who recognized me in this time where an influx of literature was so available for everyone. To him, my head stood out above the masses. His kind gestures impelled me to work even harder to improve my craft. I was so grateful to him.
Praise is either an incentive to work harder or a detriment to the creative process. The maturation of any form of art depends upon a prudent plan to be carried out. It can’t be interrupted by any other goal that interferes. It must include humility as one of its elements. Without it, praise would inflate the ego; thus rendering one complacent with what he did, and there is nothing left to improve upon. He places himself above where he really is, a student in search of excellence.
I read everything I could get my hands on from the masters. I dissected their prose and thought processes. I looked up the words that I didn’t know so I completely understood them. I became a student of excellence, just like they had done before and continue to be. I could not become famous, if I let praise be my goal instead of working to perfect my writing abilities. Praise has to be the beginning to the end and not the end itself.