[process] Shameless narcissism and armor for the writer’s soul

cathshaffer talks about the essential madness of being a writer. Specifically, handling the nigh endless stream of negativity that accompanies any insertion of one’s self into the public square. Her approach is a version of the classic “fake it til you make it” strategy. Though, as she says, for some writers it might just be shameless narcissism.

In her comments section, I remarked:

I vote for shameless narcissism.

And for reals, there is an immense amount of ego involved in believing that anyone else actually wants to read what you have to say. That ego may not translate to self-confidence or any of the other social characteristics we often associate with the idea of ‘ego’, but down at the bottom, I don’t see how anyone who writes professionally doesn’t *believe*.

Tapping that belief, that’s what you’re doing.

Do you believe? Do you even share her analysis? How does it work for you? Where does your armor come from?

4 thoughts on “[process] Shameless narcissism and armor for the writer’s soul

  1. anonymous says:

    “How does it work for you? Where does your armor come from?”

    For me, I think the armor comes from a place lovingly known as Rock Bottom.

    I’ve forced myself to avoid writing due to a few well-timed beatings from my peers back in the day, and my own perception that I didn’t have the talent to support a family as a writer. Instead, I set my eyes on college and grad school, with the hope of a tolerable career to follow.

    Without boring you with details, things have…not gone as planned. A friend recently pointed out that I’m now in the same worst case scenario as if I’d spent my life writing, only I’ve also deprived myself of the joy writing used to give me.

    I’ve actually done much more writing since that conversation. Will I succeed? I don’t know. Will anyone but me care? I don’t know. But I’ve finally realized through experience that if you’re going to be poor and unsuccessful anyway, you might as well be poor and unsuccessful at something that brings you joy.

  2. Diana says:

    I think I’ve had my armor peeled away by the last few years. Perhaps I’m regrowing some calluses now.

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