Mar 15, 2012

who we are

This blog entry may be a-- er-- rawer one that most. Probably because I've had the opportunity to do a bit of introspection this week.

One of the biggest temptations for me, as a writer, is to put my identity into my writing. It's so easy to step back, look at everything I've written and created, and tell myself that those works are me. That my success as a person, as a human being, is directly linked to my writing.

This is bad.

It's not bad to take pride in your work. I'm not saying that. But it is a problem to let your work (and the success or non-success of that) define who you are. Because when this happens, you are putting yourself in danger. Nothing on this earth is certain. This includes the publishing world. It's pretty much a guarantee that not everything is going to go your way. You could get awful reviews, a not-so-great cover or not sell enough copies to meet your advance. Hopefully none of these things will happen, but there's no guarantee.

The world is a very subjective place. And if you put your self-worth in something so vulnerable, then you will inevitably receive some very bad blows to your ego (and then have terrible emotional whiplash as a result and binge on chocolate and bad TV).

Yes, I am a writer, but that's not all I am.

I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a friend, a traveler and so many more things. And this wider scope will only serve to make my work that much better.

What about you guys? Do you sometimes have trouble separating yourself from the success (or lack thereof) of your writing?


  1. Of course. I got a big fat rejection last week that made me crawl in bed for several hours and cancel a date with my husband. I even had a sitter-which NEVER happens. I get it. We all feel that way sometimes. The important thing is to move on after. You know?

    1. So true! Moving on is key! And it's hard to go on with the rest of your life when you have that weight of rejection or failure on your chest. Not to be dramatic about it, but I suppose sometimes we can go through mini grieving processes about this stuff.

  2. I have to remind myself sometimes that investing too much in other people's opinions means putting my self-worth into someone else's hands, and that's never good. You just can't trust that person to be gentle with it! Writing always means putting yourself out there, and getting published means trying to find people who loves your work as much as you do... but it should never mean letting someone's opinion of your writing make you feel like your work isn't worthwhile.

  3. Nice post. Good luck. As someone interested in words, I thought you might like to look into the word play in cryptic crosswords (if you aren't already into them). I have been doing a series of posts about cryptic clues and how to solve them. This is the first one in the series: