Does this pile of certificates validate me as a writer?
They don't hurt.
But, honestly, if I counted on winning contests to validate me as a writer, then I'd be awfully sad. I was talking to a friend the other day about contests. In the last year, I think I've entered around twenty. And I've finaled in about half. The other half? Well, let's just say I didn't feel validated!
I have really struggled with this topic.
I'm not published. I haven't gotten any reviews.
So what tells me I'm a writer, a good writer?
Um, no. Not their job. Although a great crit is fantastic.
The contest finals are nice.
I've gotten really good rejections (if there is such a thing!) from editors and agents.
But what validates me is me. I like praise, who doesn't? But the bottom line is I have to know what I can do. What I have done. Where I came from. I can't rely on any one else for that.