I don’t know if those two things go together or not. Somehow, it sounds like a familiar expression (lol); but according to one post I read, months ago, when you’re a writer, ego needs to be removed. Writing needs to be honest, but if you let ego influence you too much, your writing becomes too clouded, or it doesn’t own up to the true (fictional) story you’re trying to tell.
Maybe that’s something I need to work on. For example, I find it very hard to write a religious character. I can’t stand the idea of following the strains of Christianity, it just sounds too stupid.
But I know in my head some of my characters are Christian, and I’m not doing my duty to them by not representing that. At first, it was because of my ego; I was afraid of people misconstruing me as a Christian, where I am not. But then I realised that people more likely expect me to represent all people, no matter my prejudices.
(I’m not saying I hate Christians; just that I don’t relate.)
In real life, too, I do this. I express my opinion openly, sometimes too openly for comfort in fact, because I’m trying to be open. A writer has to be, right? I want to learn more about people, about their reactions, about myself. Learning about myself is just as important as learning about others, in fact; how else do I speak from others’ perspectives but to truly understand my own?
But sometimes I just can’t look at the reply. Writers are supposed to be thick-skinned. I’m not quite there yet. At least I’m not thin-skinned…
I try to be open, most importantly, because throughout my life, I’ve been shy and too scared to talk about myself, let alone how I feel or what I think. That’s why I write, in fact; so people can know. I was told I have low self-esteem; I always equated that to mean that I have a small ego, but I know now that’s not quite true. In fact, it was my ego telling me that; saying that I had a small ego made me feel more humble than other people, which made me feel better than them.
Not so humble, then.
So, while in real life, I find it hard to express myself to people, in writing, I tend to try and compensate for that by being as open as I dare. I need to be thick-skinned to be a writer, right?
Besides, I’ve been trying all my life to be stronger. Considering, that I’ve been put down a lot, particularly in primary school (which causes me sometimes to turn that hate on me, as if I deserve it), it isn’t surprising that I want to rise above it.
There’s always something to rise above, isn’t there? Hard times help you grow, or so I’ve heard. I resented that the first time I heard it, but it’s still true. That’s the whole point of stories, isn’t it?
So, it’s true that ego and low self-esteem can go hand in hand. And the result is the need for self-expression. But even so, what do I take out of all this?
If nothing else, I hope that I can be happy growing on my own without testing my own will, or others’ reactions to me in order to learn about them. But, since the New Yorker tells me that personal bias sticks with you whether you learn or not, I wouldn’t hold my breath.