No, I don't think I'm better than you.
I take time to formulate my thoughts and ideas. In hindsight it's an exercise thoroughly bathed in selfishness, because I don't consider its impact or resonance. A fair example being this blog. I don't see myself parading to an audience; rather, yelling into a black hole to soothe my own desire to have a voice and have it be heard. But not by any one person or group - none stand out. Faces don't stare back at you from the void. It's lightless and deep, but not devoid of echoes. Far from it. Sometimes they startle me. But only because I tend to forget to acknowledge their presence. That they're there. Regardless of me. In spite of my voice. And indeed because of both.
This applies to music as well, even moreso. What people may think of Ward 13 or other projects I'm involved with is an afterthought. Their appreciation of my endeavors (or lack thereof) is such a small blip on my screen I sometimes have to ponder if I even grasp the very notion of what it means to put a piece of my soul out there for others to hear. The act itself is both 10 tons of grandeur and a weightless, formless mass of nonexistence. Vague and detached on a Lewis Carroll scale, I know, but that's who and what I am. It's not that I wouldn't want people to experience my output; I do. Very much so. It's just - what?
I suppose I feel like I've done my part; swum a long mile and dug deep in deceptive ground, by some miracle chauffeured the internal struggle to an end meaningful enough. Nor am I particularily comfortable trying to pimp my children to a mass of bodies overly complacent and indifferent to begin with. That's part of the reason why a pretty substantial chunk of my social circle are completely unaware of my creative side altogether. That's why Ward 13 doesn't have 'fans'. I don't bring that out in people. Never have. Wouldn't know where to start if I wanted to.
Working alone will always hold special appeal for me. In groups the question of what others will think of this & that is raised alarmingly often. My spider-sense on this issue tingles more violently nowadays. Your opinion and intake of what I put out there may have weight, but never true value. Why? Because we don't share the same skin. This is a mantra a creative spirit should meditate upon daily. Rigorously and vigorously. I shit ye not.
I consider the strings and strains that fuel my fire to great extent. Though I don't think of myself as particularily egocentric, being a creative spirit and remaining truly unbound in that practice requires a stiff stance and a heavy helping of irreverence. It also helps if one is capable of selective deafness. Hardy har. Remaining steadfast in having faith in yourself is a walk in the park right up until someone pulls your IP into harsh light and exposes it from another, wholly alien perspective. That's when you find out how well you're built on the inside. The choices are plentiful - let it wash over you, hang onto it for reference, build a cage for it inside yourself, wave and snap like a dry blade of grass, go into emergency shutdown...
More often than not I despise the whole notion of coming to a compromise, because in essence this usually means you're halfway somewhere. Halfway doesn't lead anywhere but backwards, nor is it a very appealing starting point for new exploration. Halfway will never shake the foundations, crack the earth or carry you to the stars. It's just... there. A place to get stuck in. A grey mass, the end result of butting heads, push-pull and sacrificing the essence of the flame for a faint spark that can neither ignite nor offer warmth.
I hate - hate - the notion of compromise because it shifts focus from the creative process to the realm of social norms and restrictions - thereby diluting the flow of inspiration. A hindrance from another world of expression and exchange; one that should have far lesser a foothold in the one we're speaking of now.
That's why I can explode or cave in very easily if met with outright negativity or unenthusiasm without constructive goals. I see no contribution or worth, as it were, in outright dismissal. Some do, supposedly because it cuts down on the point-to-point and because tending the garden goes faster if you don't take the time to differentiate between the weeds and flower blossoms. I vehemently disagree.
If I truly feel it in my head, heart & gonads that an idea, route from A to B or modus operandi serves a purpose and should at the very least be explored, a countering viewpoint of another tends to struggle for validity. This is when I become protective and often very confrontational. I dislike the proverbial light bulb above my head being covered by another's lack of enthusiasm to an almost pathological degree. It makes me rabid, because it upsets my notion of balance, of flow, of the nature of chaos, of turning coal into a gemstone by sheer will. This is the way I see it. In that, I am an absolutist. But only on things I feel passionate about. Things that fuel my fire. At least for me passion and inflexibility go unnervingly well hand in hand. On this, I'm trying to mend my ways. Confronting the unstoppable force with an immovable object is by design a destructive enterprise; creativity being firmly planted on the polar opposite.
People are so frail. So delusional. Going to excesses to develop a web of comfort blankets and safe zones, their antennas set to high for any signs of threat or betrayal. I fill those character traits better than most, but my motivations lie elsewhere than in (sense of) self preservation. I don't shy away from the real or conciously seek to take time out from my mind to curl up in the arms of a clawless beast. I rarely get offended, as my ignorance explored at length above (mind you, not arrogance) means all the fecal matter thrown my way won't reach the top of the tower. This river runs deep and shouting from the shore rarely reaches the bottom - and even if it does, it's never untouched by the surrounding wall of water.
I'm protective of my output not because negativity offends me. I'm protective because my output can't defend itself.
Understand this difference.