Tapped to the wall above my desk where I write I have a quote. One that I look at when I need a reminder of why my ego needs to stay in check.
“Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your creative opens up endlessly. Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment. You must not be your own obstacle.”
- Jeong Kwan
Now here’s a confession I have to make, three years ago I stopped writing. I know, I know, why would I stop writing if I love it. Because of ego.
Ego, as said by the Collins Gem Canadian English Dictionary, is the image of self. When being a writer isn’t part of your self-image you may just shove it aside. However, I did not give up writing because it wasn’t part of my self-image, I stopped writing because of egotism.
Egotism, in this case, is self-conceit. I hate to admit it, but I once thought writing was beneath me. You can see how I’ve changed over the last few years. I didn’t see it as a career. I saw it as a hobby. A hobby I did not add to my self-image. A career I thought was beneath me, or so I said. But it was, and still is, my dream career.
Remember that part about the “comparing and jealous mind”? That’s my issue. I was so afraid of failure and not being the best that I stopped writing. Funny thing is that many people stopped writing because they are so afraid of failure.
So you may ask how I started writing again. This is where a second quote comes into play.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
- Neale Donald Walsch
Last fall I was sitting in the library when I noticed a writing group was going on. So I sat in. Over the next few months, I continued to go to the writing group at the library, stepping outside my comfort zone in my writing style and techniques.
By stepping outside my comfort zone I became more comfortable with writing. By practicing different writing techniques I became better at writing and less afraid of failure.
I started to practice writing all the time. I shared my writing and positive feedback gave me the courage to continue on. Now I’m starting to submit my work. To publish it. I’m not completely without fear of failure but I have learned to control it.
If I let my fear get in the way of my writing career I would never have a career in writing.