Hello there. As part of my drive to get back into blogging, I thought I'd reinvigorate my posting for this group, which I've missed for several months. I'm still working towards self-publication of my novel and my WIP is undergoing revisions with this aim in mind. Today I'm talking about what it means to have validation as a writer.
I saw an item on This Morning recently (a daytime TV show in the UK, and no, I don't sit around watching TV all day; I'd done my work for the day and had just switched it on while making lunch. This particular segment was actually post-12pm!) They were talking about selfies, a phenomenon of which you are doubtless aware, whereby people take a picture of themselves usually to post on Facebook or Twitter. What I hadn't considered was that people are posting the pics specifically to get a reaction (along the lines of "Wow, you look cool/hot/smokin'/another temperature variant). Apparently they can be quite upset if no one responds. My initial reaction was that their lives must be pretty shallow if they need that type of reassurance, but then I told myself to shut up and stop being so judgemental. As writers, isn't part of our reason for publishing to receive validation, some signal that what we are doing is worthwhile?
Note I said reason for publication. I think many of us would agree that a big part of writing is to get a story out of our heads, exercise those characters knocking around in there and demanding we listen to their trouble. If that was all there was to it, that novel would be filed away in a desk drawer or hard drive and on we would go with our merry lives. But for most of us, at some point and after revising so hard we can't even see the words on the screen any more, we want to see if anyone else will like it too. (Let's face it, money is a very minor factor, if even a consideration at all in this game.)
A lot of people stress over reviews and take bad ones quite personally, although it's important to remember that it is based on the book, not you as a person. At least it should be... there is a notorious dark side to this whole thing, but in the main, reviewers are interested in the story, not the author. But it's human nature to see this as a reflection on ourselves and the tone of a review has the power to make or break our day.
What do you think? Do you need validation as a writer? What are your reasons for wanting to publish? Do you read your reviews, and what sort of reactions do you have to them?
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