Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All Writers Have to Be Egomaniacs and Completely Insecure #IWSG

This is my entry for the Insecure Writer's Group...

All writers, and really any creative person, have to walk a fine line in terms of their ego. We have to waver between believing we're awesome and believing we're lousy. We have to have enough confidence in our work that we can say, "Yes, I think this story or book is awesome, so awesome that people will actually pay money for it. Maybe even a lot of people, and I'll be a millionaire!" Without that confidence, we would never submit our manuscripts to publishers or self-publish them.

But we also have to look at our work with a critical eye and say, "Okay, it's not perfect. It needs to be edited. This part needs to be rewritten." Sometimes (and it happens to all of us) we have to admit that the story we've written isn't working, and scrap it or re-write it completely.

The tricky part is striking that balance. Too much in one direction, and we become an egomaniac, thrusting terrible work into the hands of others and refusing to change. Too much in the other direction, and we hoard our work or never complete it, and never become what we all dream of: a published author.

I think the key to striking that balance is impartial criticism. We need beta readers, editors, critique partners, and even friends and family who can read our work and give their honest opinion. It won't always be right - sometimes someone may love our work when it's crap, and someone may hate it when it's brilliant - but it's crucial to breaking out of that insular bubble of our own heads.

How do you strike that balance? Who helps analyze your work? Let us know in the comments.

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