Believe in your own identity and your own opinions. Writing is an act of ego, and you might as well admit it.
~ William Zinsser
Author William Zinsser died last week. He wrote the book On Writing Well.
I love the idea that to be a writer, I must first believe in my own identity and my own opinions. Isn’t that, after all, where voice emerges? Because who I am determines what I write, how I write, even my word choice and rhythms.
How do you write well if you don’t believe enough in your story and your ability to convey it? Perhaps that is where blocks arise. When you and I lose that sense of self and a belief, an ego strong enough to believe, that the story we want to tell is worth telling.
Bob and I are visiting Los Angeles this month, the land of many stories. I know I’ll hear them from Jason & Chris, our two younger sons, Christopher and Jason, and from their friends. We continue to be impressed by the creative directions and lives that Christopher and Jason manage to chisel out of an environment that could so easily overwhelm them with the false or egotistical stories of “it’s all about me” and “I’ll be anything you want.”
Without a strong ego, it is too easy to become everyone or no one.
A strong ego in your creative work does not mean being egotistical. It means being well-grounded in who you are, where you come from, where you are going, and what your story is. Each of our sons has a distinct voice and story.
So Bob and I expect to be well-entertained during our time with them as we sit around soaking up our their stories and those of their friends.
I’ll also find the time in LA story-land inspiring and motivating for my own work.
If you’re feeling blocked or hesitant about your writing, ask yourself if you believe enough in yourself and your story.
Really believe. Do you?