|Does Your Ego Hurt Your Writing?|
Have you ever been insulted?
Have you ever wanted to be praised for something you’ve done?
Have you ever felt horrible after a submitted story was rejected?
Have you ever been disturbed about what someone has said about you?
Have you ever gotten upset when someone cut you off in traffic?
Have you ever felt guilty about something you did or said?
If you have, then you have been a victim of your Ego. Your Ego is the source of most of life’s troubles. Life is problematic enough without having to be concerned or worried about what may happen or what has happened. Neither one of these things are in your best interest.
Let me explain. The Past has already occurred, so it’s beyond your ability to change. The Future is a nebulous miasma of possibilities that is also difficult to change. Only your choices can affect the Future, and you don’t have any idea what those choices should be. All you can do is make a choice and hope that it’s the best one for the situation at hand.
Enter the Ego. It can be short for Everything Goes Overboard. The Ego never lets you forget what you’ve done in the Past. It also makes you second guess your options for the Future.
As for writing, the Ego really goes to town here. When you have a story rejected, you feel bad. Some people take it poorly, getting mad at the publisher and everyone else around them. Writers crave good news about their stories, whether it’s from a publisher or their Mom.
These reactions are all tied to the Ego. The Ego is not your friend. While it tries to look out for you, it also does a horrible job with your feelings. Feelings are directly tied to the Ego. If you’ve ever felt hurt by what someone says about you, blame the Ego. I’ve got news for you. What someone thinks about you is none of your business. It’s just their opinion. It has no more weight than your shoe size, and yet an insult or a story rejection can ruin our week.
The good news? You are not your Ego, no matter how much the Ego thinks it is. The Ego is not a part of your Being. It is separate from your sacred self and interested only in defending itself. Ego helps protect us and preserve circumstances that are favorable for us. Without it, our physical form could be in danger. It can, all the same, be harmful when it takes over other aspects of our lives like our happiness. Keeping up with the Joneses is a perfect example of this.
To quote Dr. Wayne Dyer: The Ego-idea has been with us ever since we began to think. It sends us false messages about our true nature. It leads us to make assumptions about what will make us happy and we end up frustrated. It pushes us to promote our self-importance while we yearn for a deeper and richer life experience. It causes us to fall into the void of self-absorption, again and again, not knowing that we need only shed the false idea of who we are.
How would switching off your Ego improve your writing? For one thing, you wouldn’t feel so much sting out of every rejection. In fact, the very act of not being hurt by rejections over time is an indication that you’ve put your Ego aside for this one process. Eventually, you will not let your Ego self-edit you as you write. That kills a lot of stories in mid-creation.
Just write like spelling and grammar and logic don’t exist. You can clean up the mess later. Right now, just write the story that comes into your head. Let your Ego look at it, but ignore whatever it says to you. This is your story, not your Ego’s. Ego didn’t write it, so it has no right to criticize it.