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the balance of the ego.

January 4, 2011
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as of late, i’ve really been having a hard time with my writing. it’s not that i feel my space in the program is tenuous, because i worked hard to get where i am now, and obviously something in my writing sparked interest in the admissions panel. but i realised, over the break, that i really don’t trust in my own writing. i do not trust – or believe – that i am talented in regards to the people i am around now. in undergrad? sure. i was a bigger fish in a smaller pond. now i feel very upset with the way i write. i haven’t found my groove yet. there are so many beautifully talented people around me, people with so many publishing credits and book deals and people who know where their theses are going, people who are sure of themselves. maybe they are simply more persistent, or maybe it comes down to age – that i am he youngest person in my year – but at times i feel so very insignificant.

i think that this is becoming more and more evident to me in this last term of my masters because before i could pretend that writing was just something i was doing to put off joining the real world, but now, as i spend more and more time in a writing world, i realise that it is something that feeds me. it could also be the fact that month by month, my ego is becoming destroyed. this winter break was especially hard in some ways – i went through a deflation of ego and now, back in vancouver, i feel so very, very tired. last night i slept so solidly i couldn’t wake up properly, confused about where i was, muzzy. my brain and my soul needed it, this lack of ego.

but that’s not a bad thing.

i have written about writers having egos, and how this is necessary to the writing process because of all of the criticism we draw to ourselves, because of all of the editing we go through. but  i think i need to amend that thought and say this: that having an ego is necessary, but sometimes having no ego is even more necessary. to be able to hear people criticizing, critiquing a piece that you feel that you have put your all into – it’s a hard thing. but it’s necessary. because often you have become so very, very involved with that piece, and you are not the one who is able to look at it from a distance, to evaluate it from all angles like a diamond would be appraised.

so the next few days – or weeks – are going to be about thinking. thinking why i was drawn to this and how i can make this story palpable and important to potential readers.

and maybe it comes down to this: if we fossilize ourselves – if we jade ourselves, believe only in the way we write without having belief in the writing and the skills and the advice of others around us, then we risk downfall.

this is the year that i don’t let the ego get in the way of producing something that really means something to me.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 1:40 pm

    ooooooook. i get it now. a big hug from afar!

    sometimes i think i have both the biggest AND least powerful ego– im not bound to any word or sentence i write, but believe deeply and intrinsically that i deserve to work full time as a writer. is this because im white or something?

    i find it strange how often you question your place in the program. stop being such a shithead!

    • Emily permalink
      January 4, 2011 2:32 pm

      What she said.
      Also, EVERYONE goes through figuring out where they are in the program status, etc. But, it’s a total waste of energy and really, in the real world, that doesn’t mean much.

      Also, believing in yourself results from overcoming self doubt and that is a battle a writer fights everyday.

      Believe in who you are and take the time to truly go through the struggle of figuring out what you want. And learning about yourself along the way is what living is really about.

      Okay, I’m done commenting. I promise. I know it can be aggravating when people respond to your blog posts, so totally ignore this commentary if it is annoying. 😛

      I love you…for serious. Let’s drink vodka and eat Ukrainian food items.

      (btw, I am totally reading and writing this in class!!!!)

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