A Pat on the Back

A young doctor, practising his profession, is constantly having his sense of identity reinforced by the recognition accorded him by his colleagues and by his patients. A writer experiences this less often; perhaps only when he publishes a book. Similarly, a painter may have to wait several years for his next exhibition to fulfil the same function.

If, in spite of possessing a 'strong ego', the creative person's sense of his own identity is less than it might be, this lack of continual reinforcement from others may be another part of the reason.

Moreover, creative people learn, often through bitter experience, to be secretive. As we said before, new ideas are tender plants better not exposed too soon to comment. They wither under criticism, and are often dispelled and diluted by premature revelation.

[Anthony Storr]
The Dynamics of Creation, p.220

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