Are you struggling to get your point across, and are you not making any headway in becoming noticed?
Maybe EGO has something to do with it...read on and I will explain more.
Today's example of the writing ego.
I spent this morning following a thread on social media, I don't normally comment on threads as people can be pretty ruthless out there, but if I am passionate about something I will.
Today's post was something along the lines of...
authors should stick together and not be disrespectful to one another
That is how I read it. A simple post yes? However the author wrote the post a little more lengthy than that, but repeated the same point and also wrote in random capitalisation. Her style, I later realised. Also a distinct language barrier was noted in the posting. Maybe English was a second or third language.
After sifting through hundreds of comments (7 of which were mine) I concluded that EGO was partly to blame for blatant disrespect shown in the postal thread.
So before I continue, when I say ego, I mean it in this respect;
In psychological terms, the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it, coming between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social environment, represented by the superego. (Dictionary online)
With this in mind, I am looking at ego AND superego. The id is the personality that part that makes the individual ego, without it, our ego's would be the same.
So I am not just talking Jonny Bravo...He had a really big hair...I mean EGO! I am talking about ego in general.
The person who made the post
It appears the author of the post had been the victim of criticism from an earlier post, so it would be safe to assume her ego had been super deflated. In this instance, how would you have hit back. If you are a writer, you will have received some cruel, or unwanted attention in the past? Right? There are ways to deal with it.
- Withdraw and never write ever again (I felt like that in the early stages pre-editing software and trusting the opinions of complete strangers!)
- Defend and get angry
- Apologise profusley whilst sobbing into a bottle of wine (Been there when I was a soft sap just starting out)
- Admit you a wrong without any hesitation
- Reply objectively with comments on board after consideration
- Take time out to consider whether there comment is valuable
- Ignore, mute, delete (This seems to be my favourite strategy)
The author of the post dipped between point 2 and 5.
OH MY DAYS...of course its not like I haven't seen it all before, but as part of my creative writing, I have been learning about different language barriers and perspectives, so I have been studying this more. People can be ignorant, ruthless and just plainly egotistical. One thing that really gets my back up is grammar police. The opportunity to make the post about grammar really touched a nerve. That's when I had to step in to amuse my own ego. The ego that was saying;
I understand more than most, the barriers to learning, due to my dyslexia
That part of my ego needed to be stroked...I am not egotistically stereotypical, but my ego had spoken and it needed stroking. (Sounds like a euphemism, but i'm leaving it in for the pun.)
I commented when people were ranting about grammar, very politely, asking why they are digressing basically... I don't normally comment I am normally a number '7' . Today I was a number 5. I didn't get any replies back from those. I did however get one reply back from another, when I decided to stick up for a young Philippine girl who was very articulate, but had a language barrier. Unfortunately I slipped, quite elegantly I feel, into point 2. All I did was call her rude, that is strong for me online, but it inflamed her ego to then say I was spoiling for a fight.
I ignored her after that. I have become quite good at not allowing people to push my buttons, but if you take the piss out of a 15 year old Philippine girl who is trying to develop her second language in English, that will make my ego kick in.
Included are a few of the following ego personalities. Some positive, some negative.
- The I'm better that you
- I want to help you learn from me
- I'm an editor, so everyone needs to listen to me
- You're really rubbish, you will never be as good as me
- I am a great diplomat, let me give you some of my positive ego (guilty)
People can be ruthless, but everything comes from what our ego has to give. I am guilty of believing I can give people a positive outlook, regardless of the situation. If that makes me too nice...so be it.
One sentence comments that can change someones life.
You have to have a thick skin to be a writer, that's for sure, but you don't have to believe every comment. That's not naivety, that's common sense. You wouldn't trust a publisher or an editor that has no credibility and a bad rep so why trust a stranger online?
When the grammar police and the critiques become rude and obnoxious without real thought, it becomes white noise. If you have particular critiquing skills, or editorial skills then please stroke your ego in the right way.
Tough critiquing will only work if you have the reputation to back it up and if people trust you enough.
If someone you don't know says 'You're writing is rubbish' or laughs at your expense. How does that make you feel?
Would you want to be a person that changes someones writing choices for the better?
I do not open my works to open groups and forums for critique, unless I know the members fully. Yes I am sensitive soul, but I wouldn't take on the opinions of people I don't know, as I won't understand what drives their ego. I have my own little subgroups for critique and that works for me.
There are no fast hard rules to writing. Just guidelines that change over time and if we listen to 100 people, we will only hear a few through the white noise.