Recently, I found out that one of my favorite writers has cancer. That person will announce it in due time if it turns out to be untreatable, but that’s her (or is it his?) decision.
When you’re a fan of someone’s work and read it faithfully, it’s easy to get caught up in that person’s work. You want a new book. You want a new blog post. You want a new photograph. You want some detail to be corrected. I do this all the time. I can’t tell you how long I’ve pined for the next book in fantasy series that I’ve loved or waited for the next album from the artist I enjoy.
Sometimes, though, the curtain is lifted. There are human beings back there, trying hard to create useful things, handle the feedback they get, and still live some semblance of a normal life. They make mistakes. They have pain and regrets.
For every singer, artist, writer, or other creative person whose work you love, there’s at least one real person back there trying to deal with this complicated mess we call life. They deal with sick children, past regrets, relationships that aren’t going well, and illnesses of their own.
We are all human.