We writers area equal parts ego and vulnerable. The cliché is to develop a “tough skin” over the years and be able to take criticism. But we all think we’re geniuses, and we are. Brilliant beasts who are magical at hiding our softest parts behind a shield of “I already know” and “You just don’t understand the work.”
“Humble yourself, Oscar,” often goes through my mind. One thing I’ve learned over the years of writing and revision and rejection and submission and rejection again and writing again and revision again is this: Be teachable.
“The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something,” By Muhammad Iqbal – Pakistani Poet
I say that and I also offer writers advice which will sound like a schism (and it is), but we need to retain our ego. We need to always remember we are undiscovered geniuses. We are the next brilliant thing to hit the writing world. We have the ability to transform this planet into something more habitable. And ultimately that’s why we sit here everyday and write. To end oppression. To open up people’s minds. To give readers a new way to look at life. Our genius is geared toward benevolence. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves, and I suggest we continue to do so.
But at the same time we must be teachable. We must be able to take advice from other writers. It’s the difference between wrestling against your ego and mastering it. When you are in control, you understand talent and skill must be executed with discipline.
And the only way for a writer to obtain discipline is by listening to others.
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(The above image was borrowed from Flickr)