Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Ego Club

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how I love character motivations. You know I love interconnecting things, and bringing aspects of Book 1 into play in Book 5. Those are things I pride myself on.

And I pride myself—often. *Ba-DUM, CH*

And I also put myself down. Often.

I flip-flop between “I am a suckish writer” and “I am the best writer ever”. Which I think is true for a lot of writers.

This is a good thing.

For a long time, I’ve had this idea about where your ego fits into writing. You need to believe you have the best book out there, then prove it to everyone else.

So I sat down to write this blog post, spring-boarding off that idea, and I realized I didn’t have much else. At that very instant, a conversation began on Twitter regarding the Ego Club—between Leigh Ann Kopans , Andrea Hannah , and Erica M.Chapman . ‘Who are ALL the Best, and have ALL written the Next Big Thing.’

That seemed like an opportunity to tease out some ideas on the subject.

So we started talking, and these were some of the highlights:

Leigh Ann Kopans (@LeighAnnKopans)

You have to have a degree of self-confidence or no one will want to be with you.

Ego is important because it gives introverts the push to do things like build platform and keep writing even when it gets tough. It’s an innate belief that YOU ARE GOOD.

Writing is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT. Belief in yourself can help push you along.

Andrea Hannah (@andeehannah)

You need to put a positive vibe out there so good things happen. Ego helps with this!

Also, fake it ‘til you make it!

Me (@silent_pages)

Everybody’s got moments like “I can’t do this. How could I even think it?” But you need to keep writing anyway.

If you keep moaning how bad you are to an agent, they might believe you.

There needs to be a balance between enough humility to know when something needs fixing, and enough confidence to know you’re capable of fixing it.

By then I was feeling like I’d have a pretty good post, just by plugging in quotes from the conversation, and then Leigh says “I actually have a year-old blog post on this topic” so I told her to link me and she did and I subsequently realized that it sums this up way better than I can. So go read it. ;)

While I’m mentioning Leigh, I should also put in a plug for the chat she’s begun hosting Sunday nights on Twitter, under the hashtag #YAwritersAAT. In these chats (there have been two so far), YA writers tweet questions, and a horde of teenagers (myself included) answer them to the best of their ability, from a wide range of regions and schools and experiences. The topics so far have been ‘Slang’ and ‘High School’, and any YA writers could probably benefit from reading through both. Not to mention any future chats.

And, one last link, this recent post by Natalie Whipple also seemed applicable. :)

How do you think your ego comes into play in your writing? Do you see yourself as confident, or not, or does it switch from day to day? Do you have any strategies for when your ego needs a boost? Any strategies for when you need to check your ego?

1 comment:

  1. Hmm…I think I'm generally sorta confident. By which I mean I have highs where I think 'hey, I'm actually pretty good', and lows where I think 'ugh no one will like this', but generally no extremes, and I spend more time in the 'actually pretty good' head-space. The most extreme ego problem I've had was in the low category, just a couple weeks ago as I was finishing up revisions. I had a couple days where I basically felt like nothing on the page came together to form a story anyone would care about, and I felt as though I didn't know how to put a sentence together anymore. It was…depressing.

    But then I read Shadow & Bone, and I was like, hey, lots of this looks like how I write stuff—maybe I might be doing something right! I'm still experiencing the side effects of the doldrums, but I'm pulling myself out slowly. Having Constamaggiance(that's their Siamese twin name) say they like what they've read so far has helped considerably. ^_^ Even if I don't have more specific feedback…also your comments make me smile lots. =)

    So…ego boosting=getting positive feedback from people. Ego deflating=remembering this isn't about me. And like, watching Avatar or something, because I often feel that Avatar is much better than anything I could ever accomplish, though that's what I aim for, so that gets me back to neutral real quick. =P

    P.S. That Natalie Whipple post could've been written by me. If I was, like, married and stuff. Okay, not me, but still. O_o