Let go of my egg-o or better yet let go of your EGO.
Our ears are always at attention and our noses twitch at the slightest hint of a story. Ideas bloom like weeds and we nibble at the slightest scent of a scoop.
Writer’s are humble creatures settled in their ways. We have a style that uniquely sings to us. We bedazzle with words and who wouldn’t love our art; we’re writers. The thing is, some people can’t take criticism they let their ego get in the way.
That is the difference in a hobby writer and a talented writer, seeking to learn a craft. A hobby writer shares his/her work with family, friend’s co- workers, etc.; they love it, adore it, and tell all their friends about you. Your head begins to swell like it was filled with helium. But a serious writer of the craft diligently works at creating a masterpiece to be displayed to the world, no helium involved, just the person the pen and paper.
The ego begins to come into play during feedback time. I had one lady in a class who could not handle critical feedback. I, being gentle in my comments, pointed out what I saw as right and what could use a little more assistance in bringing home the point that I’m certain she was trying to make.
If she could have climbed through the computer, the lady would have sawed my head off, serving it on a dinner platter to her dog. I believe she had a bruised ego and was unable to handle honest criticism of her work. She had always heard how good her words flowed, and how eloquent her speech had become and how she should pursue a writing career. She was great and wanted me to know it.
I asked her, "How long have you been writing?" In a hasty response she said, "Well, all my life it’s been my hobby."
We can all honestly say we’ve been writing since we can remember.
"But how long have you been studying the craft of writing?"
"This is the first time anyone from outside of my family has had the pleasure of reading my words."
Here is her ego speaking, not the knowledgeable writer within. She had no foraml education in the writing craft.
I went on, "But there is structure, and form that writer’s use that we need to adhere to if we’re going to be serious writer’s."
"Are you saying I’m not a serious writer?"
I never saw her again. I wasn’t saying that she wasn’t a serious writer, I felt she could learn a lot about the craft before demanding me to accept her one-sentence paragraphs.
The problem was, she let her ego carry her like the wind carries pollen. She imagined her writing to be perfect with no qualms whatsoever. I’m sorry but when I see good writing, I point it out. When I see someone making mistakes slight or not, I make them aware. Never harsh and brutal, always gentle in my critiques. Critique and feedback is the writer’s best friend. Without it, we will never learn to be our best. (And even the best appreciate feedback. Just ask Mr. King.)
We writers have a thick skin. True writers can take the criticism as the ego sits outside the door, panting waiting for a time of good use. I say, leave it out there, let it go potty on the lawn. As a matter of fact, let it run away from home.