I love writing. That's why I do it. I love the sweat and angst that comes with editing. I love that I reread the damn stuff so many times that I hate it... then move away from it for two weeks, and then I love it again. I love being able to say, "I created this." And maybe it's mediocre dribble, but it's still mine.
My problem, I think, is that I seek validation constantly. And since, before, oh, Monday I had only been writing for myself and not seriously considering polishing it for publication or networking or taking writing classes or working with professionals, I was looking to my friends and family for that validation. The problem is that I send them chapters and then they don't read them, or they promise they will later, or they just kind of say, "Oh" when I say that I'm writing again. And that hurts more than for someone I don't even know (well) to tell me my writing is crap and to ditch it and start from scratch. I would much rather have that.
So, I hereby vow to myself that I will not solicit validation from any one of my friends and family from now on. I've joined an online community of women writers that I can't wait to delve into. I've found a local organization that has writing classes for women, and has a drop-in class once a month so I can see if it will fit me and my work (the women who run it are all amazing activists, and I'm a little intimidated....). I've started following blogs of authors and agents, entering contests and trying to get my name out there. And I'm just diving in without a safety net.
Am I scared? Oh, hell yeah! But is it the best thing for me? Absolutely.