A lot of my poetry lately has been about validating one’s self and not needing the opinion of others to make you feel worthy. This is something that I am working on constantly as I have been a people-pleaser since childhood, probably birth. In my mind most human interactions are conditional – I’ll like you if you behave in a certain way or do a certain something for me. You get the idea. So I diligently concentrate on reprogramming daily.
This morning I got some amazing validation that a lot of writers seek – I’m not that rubbish 😆 😳 – and I could lie and tell you that I am nonchalantly typing this post, but I can’t. I want to scream and squeal like an uninhibited little girl on a merry-go-round for the first time. They liked it! These are judges who know their stuff, so it means something, not that your daily likes of my blog posts don’t make me happy too. For some reason if the readers are not ‘pedigreed’, we then equate quantity of likes with the worth of our writing and since I’ve been here, although I have accumulated 440 followers (I have removed those that haven’t accessed WordPress last year to see more genuine figures) I have never had more than 30 something likes. I am of the opinion though that if my writing touches and helps just one person, it is worth it, so have tried to put less focus on the numbers and more on sharing what I love to do.
Back to my validation – every month I enter a flash fiction competition on Australian Writers’ Centre called Furious Fiction. You are given 55 hours to write 500 words or less with some rules with the possibility of winning $500. Sometimes it will be a picture, sometimes sentences you need to include, either anywhere or start or end of your writing. It is great fun in the practice of stream of consciousness writing and then editing it. It has been a lesson in the value of each word to express an idea. I have only been entering since March this year and missed July’s, but have gained much from the exercise. I didn’t win, but was shortlisted this month from what they tell me in the email were hundreds of entries. Shortlisted in this case means that my story was one of the top 6. Whooo Hooooo!
You can read mine and the others here.
Feel free to comment below. I take positive and negative as I am a student of the art and learning to grow from constructive criticism. Yes, the beat downs might send me into a bit of a spiral where self-doubt takes over and I participate in procrastination of the not good enough sort, but these periods are becoming fewer and I welcome them in my growth to be more self-believing which leads to more periods of writing and faith to put myself out there. It is a liberating feeling to read what was wrong with my work and say great, let me go and see how I can make it better, because this is also just one reader’s point of view and my poetry has taught me we all see the same words very differently depending on our own set of circumstances, life experience and frame of mind. I hope that my words resonate with at least some of you.
Enjoy, go forth and share your magic words and do it just for yourself. The Universe will make sure those that need to hear them will find them. We don’t always know the positive effects our scribbles have. Keep scribbling.
Image by Pixabay/Pezibear