I'm going to be brutally honest here. My natural inclination since I was young is to seek validation, approval, permission...whatever you want to call it. Why? It could be a lot of things. Despite being loved by my parents, I had little confidence to go out and do what I wanted to do. I had to see someone else do it first. Do I still need validation as an adult? Yeah, sometimes I do. I admit I frequently look at comments if I post something new on social media. Do I need validation as an author? Very much so!
The beauty of crafting a story or a poem is that it came from my imagination and is unique. I can think it is good, but if someone else disagrees, the sparkling gem that came from my complicated mind can lose a bit of its shine. Should it be this way? No! I should believe in my work 100% no matter what anyone else says. However, there are experts who have experience and knowledge that far exceeds mine. I do have to take their advice into consideration. Reviews are an essential part of book promotion. Reviews are a form of validation. When I get a glowing review, my heart feels like it will burst with pride and I am overjoyed. I always keep in mind, though, that any negative reviews I receive does not invalidate my work. It is still a form of validation because that person still read my work and felt it was important enough to take the time to write a review.
I was fortunate to attend Readers Take Denver this past weekend and I have been on Cloud 9 ever since. It was so much fun and I met so many wonderful people! The support and encouragement I received when I shared the fact I was a new author warmed my heart. Needless to say, I received plenty of validation!
In reflection, I am blessed to have friends and colleagues who give me the validation I seek without making me feel silly about it. I am blessed to have readers who take the time to write reviews on my work. I am blessed to be validated and part of a community of creators!