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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.
love pen book tea - Author Lorraine Ambers fantasy writer

Being a writer takes guts, so own it.

Four years ago, I join a creative writing class and started my first novel. Back then, I would never have imagined myself as a blogger, of having a platform of this scale, and I certainly didn’t see myself as being an author.

I would have blushed and mumbled that I was taking a writing class, whilst secretly writing a book. And in private I would aspire about being an author.

The Magicians - Quentin meme

If this is where you are, stop! You’re not aspiring to anything… if you write, you’re a writer. It takes blood, (probably from a paper cut, but still) sweat and tears to pour your heart and soul into your work. It takes dedication and sacrifice, to set aside time to write away from family and work commitments.

It deserves acknowledgment, and not from an outside source:

Oh, when I get good feedback I’ll feel successful – no you won’t.
But, when I get an agent or a publisher I’ll feel validated – no you won’t.
If my social media hits 10k+ I’ll feel amazing – no, No and NO YOU WON’T.

The Magicians - Margo Meme

Because until you make the choice to feel those things now, in this moment, to own your creativity as a writer. To validate your achievements, no matter how small. To know that even if you don’t get an agent, a publisher or make a healthy amount of sales on amazon – YOU ARE STILL AN AUTHOR! And heck, I’m proud of you.

It’s important for you to realise is that it’s ok to dream big. The next time someone asks you what you do, say: I’m an author and smile. Own that feeling of pride. Most people dream of writing a book, but do they have the stamina to stick with it. Who knows, but guess what? You did! You’re the one revising, editing and repeating.

This isn’t a hobby, a whimsical what if.

If you’re in it to win it, own it. Because you deserve it! You’re worth it!!

The Magicians - Alice Meme

Be the High Queen or High King of your destiny. Have faith in your future and walk tall knowing that every small step you take, is carrying you towards a future of infinite possibilities. Enjoy the process, reach out and make connections with your fellow writers, interact with your followers and take a moment to truly relish in your unique ability as an author.

 

The Magicians High king and Queen meme

Be brave my fellow authors and seize the day.

Yes, I’m a huge Magicians geek. The show and books it’s based on are fantstic. Have you watched the show? If so, who’s your favourite character. I’d have to pick Margo.

As always thanks for stopping by. You know I love your comments, so tell me; are you still hiding in the shadows, or have you decided to own your place as an author?

Until next time: Much Love.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer