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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wistful Wednesday


I recently posted this at my publisher's site and it generated such interesting comments, I thought I would post it here to see what our readers thought of the topic, too.

We all secretly crave it, don’t we?


No matter what we do in life, whether it’s to get a problem eater to try peas or to crack the genetic code, deep down we all wish for the same thing: Recognition. For that one person to notice us and in noticing us, to let us know we are doing a good job. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, just a simple “well done” will do. But that simple gesture can go a long way to helping us validate our own self-worth.

If you’re a writer, that validation comes in the form of someone saying, “I loved your book.” There are no sweeter words than those – except, perhaps, “So when’s the next one coming out.” For a writer, this is more important than an award, more important than critical acclaim, for when a reader tells you that they love what you wrote, that is the culmination of your life’s work. Validation. Proof that all those months, if not years, of slaving over your masterpiece were well worth all of the blood, sweat and tears you wrung out of yourself in the process. And although I, for one, write the stories for myself first before deciding if I will share them with the public, secretly I yearn for that recognition. For someone to read what I wrote and say, “Hey, this is good.”

If you’re anything like me, it takes a lot to get from the just-for-me-stage to the ready-for-prime-time stage for two reasons: 1) I have a wicked internal editor who is constantly dogging my steps, driving me to perfection and goading me with the possibility that I might never achieve it because what I am putting down onto paper is drivel; and 2) I also have a fear of recognition. Deep down, I fear that someone will read what I wrote and proclaim it utter crap.

So you see, Recognition is a double-edged sword; it can cut either way.

What are your thoughts on Recognition? I’m curious to know.

2 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

I love those words...'so when's your next one going to be out?'! It shows my readers like my work:)

Sorry Margay; didn't see this until now. Blame the snow day and the fact the kids hogged the PC:)

Margay Leah Justice said...

Molly, that is so true. That phrase - and any variation of it - is the ultimate form of recognition.