Why Writers Need Validation to Grow

We all crave validation. We all desire acknowledgement and acceptance. It is one of our fundamental needs as a human. Despite this yearning, I’ve battled with this concept. In a modern society, we’re led to believe that we’re failing unless we push aside these impulses and set to the hard work of getting to know ourselves, of loving ourselves and not needing validation from outside sources.

I’m crying ‘bullshit’ to the notion, we don’t need validation. Yes we do! We’re hard wired for it, in fact, it’s how we learn and grow. But sometimes we get caught up in our reasons for needing it.

In this post, I’ll be explaining the subtle difference between: Excepting who you are; putting yourself out there, battling rejection and criticism to obtain validation of something you’ve worked hard for. Over: Not appreciating your own worth; grappling for validation to prove you exist.

I want to point out that neither of these ways are wrong; if anything, it strengthens my argument that validation is vital to us. Because we, as conscious beings, will often go to great lengths to achieve those fundamental needs.

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Lets talk about this subject as if we were exploring our story’s themes: Forgiveness, Revenge, Love, Fear, Redemption, Survival or Acceptance. There are many more, but in my second novel, Tali a nymph flees home and bargains her freedom, all in the bid to gain validation from an external source. She wants acceptance.

Taking the theme of Acceptance, I then developed my character, Tali, by asking questions. Why would she sell her soul to gain validation? Why can’t she love herself and follow her own path? How will she discover her own path? And who will validate her experiences to help guide her on her way?

Did you notice a change in those questions? The last two help get a growth mindset. Tali starts the story by giving all of her power away. She’s pleasing other people to satisfy their needs, gleaning what little attention she can get. Tali’s character arc takes her on a journey: She begins to understand her own self worth. She conquers her demons, regains her freedom and starts living her life to the fullest. Yet she still craves that validation, now she gets it from her friends.

Love Heart Hope Fantasy romance writer author Lorraine Ambers

I’ve parodied that example to us as writers: We work tirelessly, often alone, hanging onto the hope that we may one day get a glimmer of attention from an agent, a publisher, or a reader. This can sometimes feel overwhelming, where we feel desperate to sell our soul, I mean our book, to anyone that shows it any attention. Stop. Take a deep breath.

We need to know our own self worth; not every agent or publisher is right for us. Don’t forget we’re still on our journey. Take the time to improve, learn, grow and try again. Get validation from beta readers, critique partners, or a writing group. And fear not, I’m sure there is still plenty of validation to come.

Fantasy writer Lorraine Ambers blog banner

How do you get validation as a writer? Do you think it’s important? Share your comments, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2020.

26 thoughts on “Why Writers Need Validation to Grow

  1. I love your posts, Rainy, they always breathe new life into my thought process. You’re so right about craving validation. I think that’s why so many writer’s seek the route of traditional publishing, because it means somebody else has faith in our work. But your post is a reminder that we are valid, that we all work hard and we all have passion, and that’s exactly what I needed to hear, and what I’m sure other writers do too ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For me, the best validation comes in the small things. Such as when a beta tells me they really like a character name or a certain sentence/paragraph, or some part of the worldbuilding. And that’s what’d make me happy even more when my book goes live.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Writers are, believe it or not, human beings. And human beings need the occasional pat on the back. We all have stories in us. Some writers share parts of their stories in the hope that someone will give them that pat on the back or at the very least point out that something is missing, or the story is starting to go off the rails. Writers need this kind of input just as others need air to breathe, movies to blog about, or travel to a distant country. Without some kind of validation, writers will wither and die. Some need the pat on the back more than others but at the very least they are trying to tell a story. When was the last time you gave someone a pat on the back or pointed out something in their story that didn’t quite make sense?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll be honest I’m always checking out Amazon to see if someone new left a review. When people compliment my book it gives me a rush. I feel that all of us need validation in certain forms to remind us why we write.

    We’re entertainers and if you tell me that my book entertained you that’s the best thing in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Honestly, getting encouragement in the form of “I liked (insert specific part of piece of writing here)” from others. Sure, we grow from knowing what is wrong, but emotional encouragement as you mention here and mentions of what we do *right* is even more essential. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, I agree with you. It sure is important, which is why I reply to every comment and continue to get excited every time I get a new article in print. They keep us striving for more!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Powerful and insightful! I agree with your premise that we are all craving for attention. Writers start working in solitude but once their work is done they are eager to share their work with the world and have a desperate need to feel the love and appreciation of their readers. I am a published author of a self-help book “This Is Your Quest”; getting published is a huge step forward but getting the attention of readers is not an easy task because it is so competitive out there – your book is one in millions of other books, so it is hard to get noticed. I have a following and I am grateful for all the love and appreciation I have received so far from my readers and followers but I am not JK Rowling. Good things take time, I see myself as a marathon runner and not a sprinter. The key for me is to focus on the process and keep focusing on putting good content out there in the knowledge that the words I am writing could make a difference to someone somewhere. Maya Angelou once said: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you”. Incidentally I wrote recently an article titled “The Art of Acceptance” – https://authorjoannereed.net/the-art-of-acceptance/. Feel free to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Maya Angelou, her work had a huge impact on me as a teenager and made me want to become a writer.
      Self marketing is tough, it’s something I’m currently learning about. I wish you every success with your book and I’d love to check out your article. Thanks for sharing the link and for commenting. 💜💜

      Like

  8. Pingback: Tell Again Tuesday Validation of a Writer @lorraineambers | C.D. Hersh

  9. I went to therapy and the therapist suggested I start a blog to express myself. Strangers liked what I had written. So I write short stories. It’s an exchange. I need to write. I give a story. The reader keeps it or gives back in likes or comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Why Rejection is Important to Writers – Lorraine Ambers

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