After discovering where my name appeared on the Web this morning via two Google Alerts, I asked myself this question this morning: Do I need validation from outside of myself?
Here's what happened: I wrote a story about a fun tour in a small town for a big-time pub (to them). The local small town paper gets wind of the article and writes it up, as both an editorial and as an article. Two different writers quote my article like crazy, use my name, cite the publication, sing all the praises, but not once do I get a call for an interview. Not that I need one. I just thought it was funny.
This particular paper wrote two stories about my one little article. Two stories in the same paper! I'm famous there. It's the third article about my work in this paper. My BF says I could probably be in the town parade. They'd probably name me Homecoming Queen, he says. "There she is! There she is!" he says they'd say. Funny stuff. It made me smile. And, truthfully, it made me feel good--even without the one-on-one interview.
I think we all need to find validation like this outside of ourselves sometimes. We need to know we're appreciated. At the minimum, it's nice to know people notice. We may not do things in order to receive validation. We may just be doing them because the work pays the bills. But it sure is nice to get the recognition afterward.
So, my answer is yes, but it's also no. Feedback is good. It allows us to see where improvements can be made and to continue doing what works. But I don't think we want to rely on it. Because during those times when there is no feedback, when no one does notice you or your work, you could falter. You could succumb to the lack of recognition in some way, maybe even seep into some kind of "Nobody loves me" depression.
If you do that, it's not likely you'll be able to think about improvement, and you won't want to bother doing what you've been doing. You might think, "No one cared, anyway."
This is not a good place to wind up. There's no forward movement there.
So what's your opinion? Do you need validation?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.