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The Writer's Ego

The Egoic Beast lives, not so silently, in every writer’s mind.

Authors who endure are passionate “Word-Smithers” and “World-Builders” juxtaposing their products between the voluminous choices prepared for world consumption. Here the Ego finds its home.

Urged to feed the beast, and under the guise of searching for helpful comments, I recently asked a relative, to review something I’d completed. What I wanted was unsolicited praise.

“You did a great job!”

“Definitely an improvement.”

“You had me at…”

The individual did precisely as requested. Studiously pouring over each line, they searched for errors. I took solace upon discovering only a few red marks on the pages, but the scene was returned with the uninterrupted chirp of crickets. A few moments later came their only query:

“Is that what you expected?”

“Yes. Thank you,” I replied.

My Ego screamed, “NO!!!!”

What did the mute response mean to me? It meant they didn’t care for my work. It was another “meh” piece of manuscript dutifully considered.

My mother-in-law once told my husband that “if you don’t want to know, don’t ask.” Wise words – so I decided not to probe either for the reassurance, or for the ugly truth I feared.

The incident was a stark reminder of the strong and silent partner that sits within us at the keyboard. Do I continue to write, despite the silence that surrounds me? Art has its critics and fans. Neither dictate an author’s passion for expression. And so, today I push forward once more hoping the words I produce will bring pleasure to someone, somewhere...

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