Whether because of age or circumstance, the place that writing--or really any creative act--maintains in my life has shifted, refocused.
I can now acknowledge that during my 20s, I needed others to acknowledge me as an artist, as someone different than the normals. Special because the writing I strove to accomplish every day set me apart.
I thought that's how artists of any discipline behaved.
Now in my, ahem, mid-to-late forties, creative work and meditative practice are virtually synonymous, and the thought of being outwardly acknowledgement seems....odd. Wrong, even. The practice has become the reward, and I know that to be a creative person in no way separates me or sets me apart or makes me special.
There are no normals. Just us.