We all want to hear someone say it. “I am proud of you.”
We crave that kind of support. Maybe it’s just part of what it means to be human.
But not all of us get the tangible support we want. And for many — especially those newer to the game — this can be discouraging enough to prompt them to quit.
I wish it didn’t. I wish everyone had the chance to be told they’re doing a good job. To feel validated.
But right here, right now, I do want you to know that just because your friends or loved ones haven’t told you they’re proud of what you’re doing doesn’t mean they aren’t.
Not everyone will tell you how they are feeling at any given moment.
So it’s quite possible there are plenty of people — especially those close to you — who literally cannot express how proud of you they actually are.
Others might honestly be so caught up in their own lives that they forget to verbally remind you that you and your work make them proud.
On that note, there are people who will never outright say the words, “I am proud of you.” But they’ll express it in other ways, like reading your work, sharing it on social media, or talking to their friends about it — things you might not even notice.
Perhaps more importantly, just because someone hasn’t expressed to you how proud they are does not mean you are doing a bad job.
We all need to learn to — or get better at — realizing that we do not need other people to tell us we are doing good work in order to do good work.
I know you want feedback. I know you crave knowing whether or not you’re doing this right.
But don’t rely on someone else to tell you whether or not you should keep writing. That’s not what writing is about. You (hopefully) don’t write because you want attention. You write because it is a part of you, you cannot suppress it, the hunger to create with words is too strong not to indulge.
If you are satisfied, then that should be good enough.
If it isn’t, then your writing isn’t the issue. There’s something that runs much deeper inside you that makes you unable to value yourself, to trust your skills, to believe you are worthy.
So work on that. Improve your own perceptions of yourself. Eventually you’ll see that others’ opinions don’t matter as much as you once thought they did.
You are a writer. So write. Whether others are here to praise you or not.
Write because that is what you do. Because it is who you are, and where you belong.
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Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.