I'm Afraid I Want Your Approval

I want your approval.

It’s a sentiment I’ve never vocalized, but I’m afraid it’s true.

Ben has had a knack for drawing out my deepest feelings lately; this latest revelation was no exception.

You all know I’ve been really excited about refining my writing and sharing it with new audiences. I confessed to Ben that I felt a bit funny about seeking publication. When drilling down to my motives, I discovered why.

“Why do you want to be published? What does being a published author mean to you?”

“I want the approval.”

Woah. Really? Yes, really. Ouch.

144Dear readers, I want your approval. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t lie to you. If I want this space to be anything, I want it to be honest.

Though the truth stung, I’m grateful that this hidden desire was unearthed. It has given me the opportunity to think deeply about the motivation of my heart. If I want to to take my writing seriously – and I do – it must be for the right reasons.

Though I can’t say I’ve arrived at any great spot of maturity, I have begun the journey. (So many of these past posts haven’t been about arriving, but beginning.)

Journaling through the book of Ephesians, I found wonderful direction. “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8-10 ESV)

ephesians 5:10

Before I write anything, I must try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Knowing that a self-serving desire for approval is behind many of my creative goals has allowed me to realize I haven’t been submitting my goals to the Lord. That is assuredly not pleasing to Him. He knows my words before I write them, after all. He knows what is best for my soul and how I will bring Him glory. These past few weeks have been a difficult stripping-away process, but I trust that something better than what I first imagined – better than being published or approved by others – will be at the other side.

In my thinking through how Christians should approach creativity in a godly way, I was greatly encouraged and challenged by this talk called “Why Jesus Creates Art“, produced by the folks over at Resurgence. If you give it a watch or a listen, please let me know your thoughts!


  1. Catherine on April 1, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you for being honest, Victoria. I too strive for honesty and I too struggle with wanting approval. There a fine line between desire to share your work and desire for approval from you audience. I think every writer dances across that line.

    • Victoria on April 2, 2014 at 8:13 am

      A lot of people have shared that sentiment – that writers dance between the desire to share work and audience approval. I didn’t think of it that way when I wrote this post, but I completely agree Catherine. It is a fine balance, indeed!

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