The Artistic Ego (Pt. 1)

I had a professor in college say that all great writers struggle somewhere between extreme egotism and severe self-deprecation. I think he's right. I think it's indicative of the artist's soul.

I think is indicative of the human soul.

Part of being a writer is believing that you have something to say. And in order to be a successful writer (one who's work is read) you have to tell your story, add your voice, proclaim your message - which is of course, self-promotion.

The other part of being a writer is having to overcome, daily, the feeling that your work is not ready to be shared. Your voice is not compelling and your message does not deserve to be proclaimed.

I heard a writer once say that a piece of writing is only done when you decide to quit editing. Because it will never arrive in a romantic state of completion.

So we live in a tension, between needing to create, to take part in something larger, but knowing all along that our creation is deeply inadequate. It is in this tension that many writers die. Some literally, and most metaphorically. Their craft is crushed under the pressure. And they quit.

I believe, however, that this tension represents something much larger. And in that larger story, we find a way to navigate the tension, and create with a great hope that propels our work, and our selves, and our communities forward.

More on that tomorrow.