Monday, December 13, 2004

Help! I'm being held prisoner by the dreaded Outer Validation!

I sit in the chair, generous posterior plopped, gelatin-like, on the seat cushion. And I stare at the computer screen. Meaning to write. Intending to write. Pretending to write. Then I answer email, fuss with my blog and website some more, and get swept away by some absolutely fascinating bit of internet ridiculousness. You know what it is, doncha? It's the Outer Validation thing. The trap that closes around us when we do things for the approval of others. The world. Friends. Family. Peers. Authority figures. Yeah, those others. When I was caught up in Contest Mania, entering things left and right, and getting lots of the highly-touted Outer Validation, I was writing like a madwoman. Rising early. Up late. Fingers speeding on the keys, soul aflame with passion, ideas dripping from my ears (assuming the leak originated in my brain, somewhere). Getting requests for chapters -- Nirvana. Excited emails to friends and crit partners. Encouraging emails returning. A life-force-arousing experience. Aliveness. Then I entered the waiting period. The months I expected to get lots of writing done while awaiting the Wonderful News. No outer validation. OK. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm a psychotherapist, and I should know better than to think that anything is OUT THERE. That I ought to remember that all validation -- truly -- is self validation. Yeah, yeah. Yada yada. Just because I know that stuff intellectually doesn't mean that I'm one whit better at dealing with it than anyone else. So, I guess I get to find out whether I can jump-start my motivation -- re-ignite my inner pilot light -- or if I'll remain a slug until I get some encouraging news? And, in the meantime, I keep collecting submission possibilities for my file called "places to send my books and stories to." Now, if I only had the books and stories finished to send.


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