As I expressed my thanks to every friend who congratulated me for publishing three new poems… I couldn’t help but recall one of the many conversations I shared with my writer friends. I couldn’t remember the specifics, but I think, one of us cited the names of those writers who won but didn’t accept their awards. The gist of our convo, of which all of us agreed with solemn nods is that writers didn’t need recognition or to receive awards. The job itself, the experience of writing is essentially the award.
But the topic followed me at home. So, I imagined winning a major award… and asked myself, wouldn’t I accept it? I thought that I would. And given the chance, I’d bring my parents or family to the event. I’d soak in the best wishes of every friend.
Because the process itself, the writing is solitary in nature. When I write a piece, I tend to have this idea that I’d want to explore, this barrier that I’d want to cross or conquer. By writing and editing the piece, I am able to do just that and, silently, celebrate that success.
As much as I wanted to, I wouldn’t/couldn’t pull them inside that celebration. Perhaps, because I couldn’t always share the process or journey that I had to go through to be able to write that poem, that non-fiction…
For me, awards, recognition or publication—these aren’t always opportunities for writers to brag, or to affirm their convictions. Rather, it’s a chance to include more in an aspect of a writer’s life that’s been kept away, if only for a while.