It’s no secret what-so-ever that as human’s we are in constant need of validation and support from others. Some people may rely on it more than others, but we all need it in some way. We want acceptance. We want people to agree with us, believe in us and aid is in pursuing our passions. Maybe this is why, as writers, we can be particularly eager for that validation and support.
Following any dream is difficult, but a creative one especially can feel extremely trying. It’s easy to convince ourselves we’re no good at what we do or that it’s a silly idea in the first place or that ultimately, we can’t make money doing what we love. Validation and support plays a massive part in motivating creative people to do what they do best.
We can’t always get it from the people we wish we could, and sometimes the people we love aren’t sure how to show it, but beyond that, when it comes to writing, validation and support from our fellow craftsman and people we admire in the Industry is vital to our growth in terms of confidence in our own abilities.
Ultimately as a writer, your aim is for people to read your work. Whether that be a book or a news article or a poem etc, you want eyes on the page. And yet that can be a completely terrifying concept for the majority of writers as handing over the words you have spent so long crafting can often feel like handing over a piece of yourself. Anything you write is going to say something about you, whether you like it or not, and as writers we know this. That’s another reason why we’re so desperate to know that what we’re working on is good, is well…worth it.
Recently, I was published in an online magazine called Into the Fold. I wrote about body confidence and Instagram. I’ll link the piece here. It was an unpaid piece and yet I have never been so excited and honoured to see my work out there. I love the magazine; a recent discovery that lead to a complete binge of the entire site. I looked at it and felt inspired. I went out on a limb and pitched an idea to the editor and holy smokes, she liked it! She asked me to write for her and within the week my piece was up. I was honoured. I felt (you guessed it) validated and supported. The editor of one of my favourite magazines looked at my work and told me that she thought it was good enough to publish! I was mixed in with the other amazing, thoughtful and well crafted features and writers on the site and for a moment I felt like maybe I wasn’t so bad at this writing thing after all.
When I look back its always moments like these that mean the most to me. A high grade for a creative writing project, a supportive pep talk from a lecturer and writer at university or someone who writes like me telling me that they really love something I worked hard on. To follow a passion like this, of course you have to have the will of your own to work at it, but you also need that push you get from people who understand how hard you work and think it’s paying off.
The writing world is one full of rejection and that’s why I think it’s so important to hold on to those little victories or those little moments when someone believes in you. I’m lucky to have amazing support for what I do and what I want to do from family and friends but I always crave that professional validation. I want to know from the people who’ve made it if they think that I can make it too.
So, writers need validation and support, just as any human does. I think as a community we’re particularly good at offering this to one another and it’s always been something I’ve adored about writers in general.
How do you balance your need for validation and your confidence in yourself?