On a scale of 1-10, with one representing "I don't care at all" and ten representing "I care so much I can get immobilized", how important is the approval of others to you?
Since starting to attend a few writer's groups a while back, I've been re-thinking where I fall on that continuum and the corresponding impact on my creativity. In these situations, someone in the group typically offers a prompt and then each of us writes for a few minutes. Each person then either reads aloud what they've written or passes. Sometimes people comment on what others have written, sometimes there is silence. As this process unfolds, I'm honestly relieved no one can see my scribbles or worse, hear my self-talk.
I never comment publicly on the writing of others. If something moves me, I'll tell the writer privately. And so far, I've always read my responses to the prompts. But later when I'm alone re-reading what I wrote and then read, I often wish I'd passed. It doesn't appear to matter how little is at stake for me here; a "1" is far out of reach. What price do I pay needing any approval in situations like this?