Is recognition necessary?

One of the things that really pushes me along in my writing is any type of positive recognition. So, after I post something new on my blog, I’ll check back once in a while to see how many people have read it. If someone comments, I’m thrilled and if I get positive feedback, I’m in seventh heaven.

But, from experience, these sources of writing strength are extremely short-lived. It wears off and you’re left with your unsureness that is really much stronger a part of you than the positive feedback from others.

Also, we seem to internalize negative feedback much more than positive. Positive, is a nice experience. Negative is shattering. And lack of feedback often feels like negative feedback.

Basically, if we depend on outside sources to build up our writing confidence, we’re screwed.

We have to move beyond writing in order to get recognition to a place where we’re writing in order to write, because we’re compelled to write. Right?

The problem is, though, that that is sure expecting a lot from us little mortals. We’re so used to looking for recognition and, at least I believe, that if you get recognition, you know that what you’re doing is worthwhile to someone.

And then I think of all the world-class artists who never got recognition in their own lifetime. If you are going to depend just on recognition from your contemporaries, you might be truly missing the boat.

Am I right? Or am I right?

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3 thoughts on “Is recognition necessary?

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  1. Hi Deena,

    This is a great idea for a blog!

    I totally appreciate what you’re saying about needing to get external validation in order to feel good about what we’re doing. I often wonder what internal work would be required for me to gain personal satisfaction just from the process of writing, instead than waiting anxiously for a pat on the head, and feeling deflated if it doesn’t come. Why is it that I can’t form an opinion of my own work without outside help? Am I afraid that liking my own work is a kind of arrogance? What if I allow myself to feel good about something I’ve written and then someone else tears it to shreds? My ego is fragile enough as it is.

    I also think that writing is a form of communication, and we want it to be a dialogue rather than a soliloquy. I believe that we share our passions with the world to feel more connected with others. What better feeling is there than to discover that your words have inspired someone, or resonated with them deeply, or made them feel less alone? How can we know if we’ve connected if we get no response? It’s like that old adage about the tree: If your words fall in cyberspace and there’s no one there, do they make a sound?

    1. Joan, awesome to see you here! And I’m so happy you like my idea for this blog. I hope it’ll take off like the wind! I LOVE all your questions. They are so good and true. Would you mind if I posted them as a post unto themselves? If so, should I use your name or just say “a reader”? Thanks either way! No pressure. :)

      1. Deena,

        I’m happy to be here, and glad you liked my questions. You are welcome to post them, and I’m fine with you using my name. I am amazed by how much you write in a day. You are so prolific!!

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