Check Your Ego at the Door

Ego is important for writers to have. It is what drives some of us to actually take our writing and send it to perspective publishers. I say this because, without having enough ego to actually think your writing is worth reading, it would never leave your hard drive (or, for you archaic more traditional types, file folder).

It is also what keeps us writing after we have seen some success.

This is where the “but” comes in.

BUT, too much ego is not a good thing. Too much makes us do silly stuff like, argue with the publishers who don’t accept our submissions (obviously, you are too stupid/inept/challenged to see the brilliance of my work). Too much makes us refuse to accept suggested changes from our editors (no, I’m not going to remove the 10-page infodump. It’s necessary. Or, yes, I changed the rules of sentence structure and grammar cause I’m smarter than the rest of the world).

It is also what might keep us from listening to other writers, editors, publishers, agents, etc. That amount of ego loosely translates into hubris and keeps us from growing in our craft. Ignoring the suggestions of others will also effectively smother any hopes we have of going far as writers.

I have been guilty of too much ego in this way. I stopped attending panels at the various conventions I was going to unless I was actually speaking on them.

Foolish, silly thing for me to do.

Happily, I got past that and I’ve been benefiting from the hard-won lessons and wisdom others are willing to share. In some cases it has meant approaching my writing/revisions in a different way. In other cases, it has given me new approaches to meeting and connecting with my readers.

In other words, for a small investment of my time, I am getting a whole lot of benefit. That, and I had to get over my ego telling me going that extra mile wasn’t necessary.

How about you? Is it time for you and your ego to have a little chat?


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