Writing is a somewhat solitary experience which is part of why we writers value our online community so much. The dimension added to my writing life with my More Cowbell posse, my WANA friends and my online groups is so very valuable. I literally would not be the writer I am today without all the wise and special people I have met.
How much validation are we talking about?
Y’all know I dig Chuck Wendig. He warm and wise, funny and foul-mouthed. Basically, the perfect combination of qualities to turn me into a gushing Fan Girl. In his post today over on TerribleMinds, he discusses how “Writers Must Kill Self-Doubt Before Self-Doubt Kills Them.”
My favorite segment, in a post filled with incredible writing, is near the end:
Don’t go looking for validation elsewhere. Don’t look for it from friends, loved ones, publishers, editors, agents, mailmen, or cats.
External validation isn’t a bad thing. It just isn’t what you need. Because it matters little that they believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. The confidence you find elsewhere is hollow, a ladder made of brittle twigs. At the end of the day you’ll never be sure if those around you are just wrong — or maybe they’re lying! — or maybe they’re suffering under the depredations of some wretched brain parasite that tricks them into liking mediocre things!
Because just as doubt is one of the writer’s greatest enemies…
…confidence is one of the writer’s most powerful friends.
I agree with him wholeheartedly, and I think he strikes perfectly to the heart of why so many writers feel like frauds. And even though I agree with him, I will still argue that a little validation from the outside is really, really cool.
Especially on those days when I spend long minutes on a post that bombs or my novel falls flat, my pals are what keep my spirits up. Periodically, my WIP feels like a frozen tundra – cold, brittle, and uncrossable – and on those days, it’s my blog and my writing friends that help save me from self-doubt.
My appreciation goes to all of you on this Lovin’ Friday. Special thanks go to the people who have given me the following nifty blog awards (in the order that I received them):
The Versatile Blogger and Stylish Blogger Awards (from K.B. Owen)
I can’t even remember how Kathy Owen and I became pals but she was one of my first true Twitter pals outside of my WANA Alumni from Kristen Lamb’s March class. Kathy writes the best blog series. Her Masters of Mystery Monday posts and Watercooler Wednesday posts are two of my faves each week. Check them out!
This summer, when Kathy bestowed these two awards upon me, I was so excited. I didn’t have a clue what to do with them, but I was still thrilled. Then Gene Lempp posted earlier this month on blog awards and the light bulb went on. Here’s a link to his must-read post on the subject!
There are four bloggers that I read consistently that deserve a shout-out for their versatility. I’m offering it in appreciation of the hours of enjoyment I get from their blogs. I always learn something when I read their posts.
1) Piper Bayard – I’ve yet to meet a blogger who is more versatile than Piper. Whether it’s politics, love, spies or writing advice, there’s always something new and different at her blog. I always tell her my blog wants to be like hers when it grows up.
2) Elizabeth S. Craig – Elizabeth was my very first friend on Twitter. She is generous beyond belief to her fellow writers and a genuinely sweet person. If you’ve not clicked on the Writer’s Knowledge Base (her brainchild) in my right sidebar, you’re missing out. Ditto for her Twitterific blogs each Sunday.
3) Kristen Lamb –Jedi Master Lamb is not only a Social Media Maven, she’s also the gal you’d want to hang out and chat with at a conference. Kristen manages to combine top-notch writing and social media advice with health, love and trips down memory lane. If you haven’t hung out at her blog, you need to sashay over there and bend your mind a little.
4) Roni Loren – Roni is so very versatile, she has TWO blogs. Fiction Groupie, which I linked to her name and her author blog where she’s got more leeway to post about adult, 18+ topics. Both are amazing – I always walk away from her posts thinking.
The Stylish Blogger Award.
Style is one of those intangible things and the following four have “IT” in spades. I try never to miss a post from any of these writers and I encourage you to do the same. They’re damn good writers. Plus they possess a kind, warm and generous online footprint stamped with their own wonderful, unique style.
1) Natalie Hartford – because she always makes me laugh, and she does it while coordinated in cute pink outfits. Natalie’s got some seriously cool style over at her blog.
2) Jami Gold – Not only does Jami give amazing writing advice, but if I was gonna go fight some werewolves in a dark alley, Jami would be my “wingman” of choice.
3) Gene Lempp – Not only is Gene a “Maven” but he is a bloggers’ blogger who takes time and attention from his own busy life and writing schedule to encourage others. And he speaks squirrel! If that doesn’t scream style, I don’t know what does.
4) Chuck Wendig – As evidenced by the excerpt at the beginning of this post, Chuck not only writes his ass off, he will have you in stitches while he does it. I don’t know how he manages to explore so many unusual, dark crevices in his brain. But somehow he keeps from going off the deep end while he entertains us in grand style.
This month, two of my wonderful writer/Twitter friends awarded me the Liebster Blog Award. I was absolutely blown away as I respect them both so much. Kate Wood and Nicole Basaraba both write amazing blogs – informative, fun and full of variety. Kate’s mash-ups knock me out each week…she finds great gems! And have you seen the photos on Nicole’s posts? WOW!
NOTE: Nicole and I are working on a wicked-fun “Rock the ROW” Twitter party to commence at 12:01 am EST on October 5th – details can be found here.
Liebster is the German word for beloved person. These gals above two of the most supportive writing friends a girl could have, and I look forward to their tweets, emails, posts, and smiles every day.
In turn, I award these great blogging friends with the Liebster Award:
1) Tiffany Lawson Inman / Naked Editor – Tiffany has given tirelessly to More Cowbell and to Writers In The Storm (my other blogging home). If you read yesterday’s scene dissection for the three winners of the Dirty Fighting Contest, you’ll see what I mean. In addition to that she is as funny and warm-hearted as she seems in the comments. Love this gal!
2) Rebecca Forster – Rebecca has been one of my peeps for a very, very long time. If you’ve not read her books or visited her Heck Yeah! blog, you are truly missing out. Her Witness series is one of the best thriller series I’ve ever read. Hands down (and Hostile Witness is currently free on Kindle!).
3) Stacy Green has been a tremendous supporter of More Cowbell, almost from the beginning. I look forward to her comments and her tweets and she’s a damn fine blogger. If you’ve not been to her blog, Turning the Page, I recommend you give it a whirl.
4) Last but not least, all my other picks either have Liebsters or aren’t yet regular posters on their blogs so I’ll just give them a shout-out to let them know they rock my world. Daily!
- Amy Shojai – Whether it’s sparkling prose or puppy toes, Amy’s my girl.
- Barbara McDowell – Have you seen her Sharing Is Caring Mash-ups?? WOW.
- Catie Rhodes – This intense, quirky gal writes great blogs (and makes me smile).
- David Walker – Fellow Life List Club member and very nice man. 🙂
- Gloria Richard – Gloria cracks me up all over the place. p.s. She’s got a new blog!
- Jillian Dodd – While I love her writing/comments…have you seen her daughter’s room?
- Kathy Owen – I love to see K.B. Owen anywhere at all cuz it makes me smile.
- Laura Drake – my friend and partner in crime…those WITS gals are the best.
- Lena Corazon – (aka Jamila Jamison) Did you see her Dirty Fighting entry?!
- Marilag Lubag – She and I have many fun late-night conversations…
- Raelyn Barclay – Raelyn helps me keep my parenting cool with her stellar advice. 🙂
- Sherry Isaac – I usually think of Sherry and peace in the same sentence.
- Sonia Madeiros – Love Sonia’s blog and her comments on my Saturday baby posts!
- Tiffany White – Tiff has made my 2011 TV Moratorium *gasp* bearable.
Please correct me if I’m wrong and you DON’T have a Liebster, so I can give you one! (Remember, you want to be a regular poster on your blog for this.)
Like with most of the blogging awards floating through cyber-space, these awards come with a few rules – I do know that one of the rules is 7 random things about yourself. Just a few weeks ago I posted ten random things about myself so I don’t know if I can come up with any more. If you need official “what do I do” for any of these three awards, I recommend finding someone who’s better at keeping track of rules than I am.
I’m pretty sure the rules are:
- Acknowledge and link back to the person who gave you the award.
- List 7 random things about yourself.
- Identify 3+ recipients for the award – link to them.
- I have no idea what the 4th rule is. (See?! I told you to chase down someone more organized!)
THANK YOU, everyone! Winning these awards for More Cowbell means so very much to me, AND congratulations to the new recipients.
What do blog awards mean to you? Do you find yourself craving validation as a writer? What do you consider your “best validation to date?” Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!