Home » Writing Advice » From Kristen Lamb: Enemies of the Art, Part 1

From Kristen Lamb: Enemies of the Art, Part 1

26 January 2013

Approval Addiction:

“This is the first month of a new year and we all have our resolutions in place. But in order to succeed, we need to understand the terrain, the challenges we face. That’s what this series is going to address—Enemies of the Art. And yes, I am blogging five days a week now. My goal for this year is to master brevity.

“Today’s enemy is Approval Addiction.

“We all want approval. We long for admiration, a pat on the back, a nudge or a wink that tells us we have done something right. Yet, the dark side of this is that approval can be a drug. It lures us in with a rush that is fleeting. We start chasing the rush and can lose our art and ourselves if we aren’t careful.”


“People-pleasing will kill your faith in yourself. It will distract you, drain you and the only one who will suffer is YOU. Last week we talked about burning our ships. One of the major reasons we fail to strike the match is we fear rejection. Burn the ship of approval. Do this for you. Do it for the art.”

Read the entire post here:  Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Julia Barrett


Writing Advice

8 Comments to “From Kristen Lamb: Enemies of the Art, Part 1”

  1. Yep, that’s me. Funny how when I finally walked away from my passive-aggressive, manipulative family, I threw more of myself into writing and started taking publishing more seriously.

    But now that I’m seeing some success and getting notes from readers, the old needs resurface. DH had to talk me down from doing something stupid with the current wip last night.

  2. Great topic! It’s true – I’ve learned over time that I have to get my validation from inside me. But that is so much easier said than done – especially with writing. It’s so hard to evaluate your own writing, so it evaluating it always involves another person giving you feedback.

    And it’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting praise! But it’s important not to =, because if you don’t write from your muse, but instead write what other people want, you water your writing and your message down.

    • This is all very true. But it does feel good to hear that you have communicated something to someone and that they liked it.

      Writing is not and should not be a business based on instant gratification. But one must have some kind of gratification at some point, because sheer willpower will never carry you through difficulties unless there is some hope of a reward.

      That’s one reason why I keep a blog: my readers there (few though they may be) strike up conversations and react to my posts in interesting ways, and that reminds me that there really are readers out there, and I can reach some of them. That helps me keep going when my ‘serious’ writing gets tough.

    • Hm.

      And yet, I’ve had some definite fun doing Drabble Calls — I ask for a prompt from my audience (journal-followers), and then write 100 words on it.

      Of course, that’s only 100 words’ worth of writing on someone else’s topic, but then again… I have written longer fanfic pieces, knowing that I was going to get major squee-fests because of the topic and how I was treating it.

      I’m going to say… This depends. If the writer isn’t having fun with the piece, but is only writing out of insecurity, that’s likely to be a killer emotionally and/or stylistically, sooner or later. If the writer is having fun, and writing because it’s really great to please (or boggle* ) others while using what you know will do that… The only thing to watch for is that it becomes too “precious” — too much something that only the writer and the tight circle of friends will appreciate.

      * To quote: [C] notes that it’s [Beth] that writes the stuff that freaks the living hell out of us….

  3. This is a timely reminder for me.

    Kris Rusch wrote a post a while ago about why writers disappear. One reason was: one of their early works won such acclaim that they fear they cannot reach that bar again. At the time of reading, that reason seemed valid, but also a bit silly. Little did I know…

    A fan who likes my work has declared my latest release the best yet. And guess what?! I find myself tensing up while writing WIP, worrying about whether I can hit the bar set by previous work. Ha!!!

    I keep having to talk myself down. Let go, J.M., let go. Give this story all you’ve got, but let go of reader response. Maybe the person for whom this story will be a favorite won’t read it until a year from now. Every story is different. Every reader is different. Let go!

  4. I can’t stand reading my reviews, even though they’re overwhelmingly positive. Even 5 star reviews are nerve-wracking.

    I don’t mind feedback and I always read fanmail/hatemail, but reviews? I’m fine with sales being my success metric, thanks.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.