“Get Over Yourself” and Other Lessons in Writing

Ever since I thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d like to spend some of my time and energy writing for others, I began doing what most aspiring writers do: seeking advice. I collected it by listening, watching, and reading from authors I admired as well as those I did not.

As a result, I have a growing collection of writing advice. Sometimes, I even get a chance to share some of these lessons, passing along tidbits as I have opportunity, hoping to be a help in turn.

So today, after washing dishes and coming up with another blog post idea, I forced myself to my laptop. It’s time for me to write, and I think a portion of my next posts will include lessons I’ve learned while writing.

Here’s perhaps the most important:

Get over yourself.

Yes, I know. Some of you are already wringing your hands about the last few words you wrote, didn’t write, should have written. You feel broken by any hard word.

Get over it.

See? Even the meekest writer can get in his or her own way by worrying away the hours, focusing on him- or herself.

So maybe a few examples might help. Here are a spectrum of issues that can occur if you don’t get over yourself.

  • You never share your work with anyone ever because the first person who reads your words will immediately expose you for the idiot you know you are.
  • You freeze every five words because everything must be perfect, perfect the very first time you write anything. Because you’ll be the first perfect writer. Ever.
  • You never share your work with anyone because no one gets you. Sure, others might think they have good advice, but they don’t really get what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • You’re pretty sure you’re going to ruin everything you’re going to touch, so it’s probably best you just stop writing right now.
  • Your work is so clever. Sooooo clever. Just look at all the clever things that are hiding–er–enhancing the point of your writing.

There are more examples, of course. The point is this: don’t let yourself get in the way of your writing. Obviously, you are a critical piece to the creation of your work. But if you’re spending more time thinking about yourself as a writer than about your writing itself, both you and your writing will suffer.

So? Enjoy writing, and get over yourself.