A question a writer asks is: Why write? I told someone the other day, "I would never encourage someone to become a writer." My cynicism for pursuing a career as a writer was running high. Believe me, there are easier ways to make money and feel validated.
Then I focused a little on that last part: validation. Such a loaded word. We all need it. We all attempt to get more of it. We have egos, and anyone with blood pumping has a brain wired to seek it. But, I have had to let the desire for validation go. In essence, life isn't a gift to me that comes wrapped in a silken bow of validation. Neither is it guaranteed or promised by the divine or the mortal (e.g. anyone who loves you unconditionally). It is a human construct tied to our need to feel like we are somebody.
So have I really let "it" go? Validation? I'm practicing. I am writing and pursuing publication while trying to hold on less to the outcome. For the record, I'm not writing that much fiction. I'm actually writing more non-fiction these days for pay. And yes, the pay is validation. And when my editor, when I hand in a solid story or two, writes back immediately, "I want to marry you," that is validation. But I am not writing for the pay or the nice comments. I'm writing because I like to write. Because when I am in the middle of crafting a sentence, any sentence, I am in the middle of a creative process that takes me out of my troubles and the mundane flow. It is good to be in the words. There, there, is where I choose to place my life.