You’ve just published your newest piece of writing on the internet. You take a deep breath. Refresh the page. Nothing. Refresh it again. Still, nothing. You think about it the whole day, checking back every couple of hours, checking and refreshing until – alas! – a ‘like’! Or even – dear lord! – a comment!
Most writers know this feeling. Regardless of why we write, there is a part of us all that is starving for validation. While some people may call this newbie jitters and general lack of confidence, but I call it being human. With a full awareness of how completely cheesy that sounds.
I was in ninth grade. I was usually the last person in the classroom trying to get all my stuff together. You know the drill. Arrive at English, spread out like you’re at home, regret it at the end of class when you’re three minutes into a five minute passing period and you still haven’t escaped the classroom.
It’s just me and my hard-ass English teacher – and I mean hard-ass. Also, bad ass. She was amazing and scary and I loved and feared her. As I’m desperately trying to get my things together she looks at me, that calculating expression on her face, and says:
“You can write, kid.”
My entire world shatters. I stutter out some kind of response and make my exit. This words sit with me for years after. That bad ass woman thought that I could write? The feeling was like:
And, let me tell you, it doesn’t go away.
I am a confident writer. Yet, every time I get any bit of praise – even just a ‘like’ – my heart flutters. I love writing, and I love when other people enjoy my writing. At the end of the day, writing is a form of communication. When I write, I’m saying something. And, as writers, one of the best feelings is knowing that someone else picked up on what you were trying to say.
It’s that validation of: wow! Someone else gets it! I’m not just screaming into the void!
And it’s a beautiful thing.
A piece of advice: never forget that feeling, and always remember to share it.
Written in response to The Daily Prompt