Inside the minds of most writers the same questions must rotate on a regular basis.

These include:

– Am I a good writer?

– Am I good enough to write a book?

– Do I have what it takes to write a decent book?

– Do I have what it takes to sell books?

– Are my stories good enough to attract an agent or publisher?

– Am I capable of acquiring good reviews?

– Is my writing good enough?

Some writers decide not to waste their time answering the questions and some writers spend too much time trying to answer the questions in their head. *Raises hand*

The writers in the latter camp, rush out into the world, searching high and low for some form of external validation, to help answer the questions about their writing pinging around their head.

Are they a good writer?

Itโ€™s a tough question to answer when all your beta readers had differing views on your latest draft. The chances on everyone agreeing on whether you are a ‘good writer’ feels slim.

No one can give you a solid guarantee on whether your books will attract the attention of an agent, a publisher and then readers.

You would think that once you find the agent, the publisher and the book deal, your questions will be answered as you will have received the validation you have been searching for. I hate to be a party pooper but if you read interviews and listen to their podcasts you will hear published authors STILL questioning themselves and their craft.

The search for external validation never stops.

After years of searching for external validation, I am starting to wonder whether searching for the answers to the questions, is simply ANOTHER distraction.

We might never find the external validation we are searching for and even when we do, it still fails to answer the question.

So I am taking action and issuing a memo:


To: all writers:

Can we all ignore the questions in our heads?

Searching for external validation is pointless.

Action: Believe in your own work.

Thank you.

Keep writing!

18 comments on “Why The Writing Validation You Are Searching For Might Never Be Found #AmWriting

  1. You are right, Lucy. Even published writers receive varying reviews, ranging from those who love their work to others who give it 1 or 2 stars. Of course most writers (including me) love good reviews and it’s human nature to do so. However becoming obsessed with reviews (and believing that bad ones invalidate your writing) is an unhealthy habit of thought. We can, of course learn from the constructive criticism of our writing, but we should not become obsessed with it, or come to believe that negative comments invalidate our writing. Best wishes. Kevin

  2. This is such good advice, Lucy. Even successful, published authors doubt themselves on the eve of new releases. Stands to reason we established ones would have wobbles, but we just need to believe in ourselves ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

  3. Hear hear… block out those two imposters, praise and pickholery and write your best next book. That’s why you open your eyes in the morning…

  4. This reminds me of that old film, ‘How to stop worrying and love the bomb…’
    Not sure what that was really about but it might be a helpful attitude right now!

  5. Such a relatable post, Lucy!

  6. Loved this post. Donโ€™t think Iโ€™ve ever seen myself as a writer but as an artist who also writes. The idea of someone telling me whatโ€™s good or bad is not attractive, and Iโ€™ve had people misinterpret my work as being offered for critique when it is meant to elicit a reaction. A writer might see themselves as imposing a point of view on the world. But of course, polishing oneโ€™s presentation and experimenting with different styles will help to get the message across.

  7. So so true!! Thanks Lucy.

  8. Really interesting article to read ‘the other side’s’ POV. I must say and admit, I’m not and never have been one of these writers who search for the validation, on if they are good enough. I don’t know why? I’ve never questioned myself even before I became a traditionally published author in 2016. I just write! And please myself and whoever I please after is a bonus. This has always been my mantra ‘just do it, don’t even try to please anyone just go, go, go!’ I think for me writing is not about pleasing others, it’s more of a personal creative outlet that I enjoy and am good at. The feedback is just the bonus, the real prize is that I’ve completed a novel, novella, article or whatever TO MY OWN LIKING. My advice to those who often find themselves questioning ‘am I go enough’ is don’t do it to prove you’re good, do it because it is your calling and there is nothing else you’d love to do. Write like no one is reading! And if you’re talented it will happen, just go, go, go stop questioning– go!!

  9. I can relate to that. But I swing from knowing my books are useless to knowing I’m a good writer telling good stories.

  10. Reblogged this on Author Steve Boseley – Half a Loaf of Fiction and commented:
    wouldn’t normally reblog 2 posts so close together but this seemed o relevant to the mental health post i made last week. Some good advice in here…

  11. It takes so long to get to the point of our own book on the shelves in Waterstones, but how many times have we read a book and thought it was rubbish? Maybe not even finished it at all. What if our debut sells the most out of every book we ever write? Do we give up?Are we past it? Were we a one-trick pony? Why is validation from strangers better than from inside ourselves? Why can’t we go back to feeling like an invincible 4 year old child who will have a go at anything for the pure joy of just doing it?

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