After riding the high of ACFW conference week, I’ve asked myself this one question: does validation matter?
Before going to the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference, I was a bundle of nerves. Fear (as per my last blog post) twisted my mind, making me doubt myself as a writer and a survivor of a plane trip. But, after landing in Dallas, my nerves wouldn’t give me a moment of peace. My inner self kept nagging with inspirational quotes such as, “People will think you’re a horrible writer” and “Agents will only laugh at you and chuck you out of the room.”
Now, my inner self can certainly have her moments, but I believed her. I invested in those thoughts and held on to them like my daughter holds on to her security blanket even though its been dragged through the dirt. I did not believe in my ability or myself, making me a rather wet blanket to be around.
Upon entering my first agent meeting, my stomach wanted to meet my mouth several times, but I stuffed my anxiety in the remotest corner of my soul and waltzed in with a smile on my face and a look of dread on my heart. You want to know what he said? He said I was a good writer, that I knew how to write dialogue, and that he noticed I could tell a good story. Did he ask for my proposal and manuscript? No. But at that point in time, it didn’t matter to me. Somebody besides friends and family told me I was good at writing.
Here’s the thing, dear readers. My manuscript didn’t magically change when I walked in that room. My bumbling pitch didn’t work miracles. My smile didn’t win anyone over. What did happen was this: I was validated. Someone who didn’t have to told me I was good at something.
I walked out of that room, weightless and justified. All those hours over the past two years culminated in one affirmation. I became a different person after that meeting. I held my head high, walked into agent meetings with hope, and flew home, proud of my writing and confident in my goals.
The moral of this blog? Simple. Don’t wait for validation like I did. Don’t hesitate on your dreams because you are waiting for someone to give you permission. Chase your dreams, attack your goals with ferocity, be confident in who you are and where you plan to go.
Think about things you’ve been waiting on. Make a list and start checking them off.