Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leadership and Writing, Part 2

In January my husband took a leadership training class. Two of the things they listed as being essential for a leader were having someone you trust completely and knowing yourself.

The very next day I read Cherie's post about Live What You Believe which struck a similar cord with me.

So, I am sharing my thoughts on trust and self in writing. I discuss Trust in the first part.


When I was a teenager I read the What I Wish I'd Known In Highschool books by John Bytheway. One of the things he discussed is that self-esteem is a myth. It does not exist. I found this discussion fascinating because I was struggling with low-self-esteem.

What John Bytheway suggests instead - is that we should respect ourselves. We should have self respect. I can't remember all the details but this concept changed my life. It was then that I realized that nobody's opinion of me (save myself and God's) mattered and started a journey of self discovery. This is when I started 'settling into my own skin.' It was not until college that I really became 'comfortable in my own skin.'

No I have a strong sense of self that stands up to most bombardments. It does not mean that I don't change. My self is flawed and when I find a flaw I work on removing it. But it means that I understand the core of who I am and I stay true to it.

So a great lesson for life - but how does that apply to writing?

My Self = My Writing

Because we as writers put so much of our personality and who we are into our writing - we must know ourselves before our writing can truly be great. Our self and our perception of our self affects our voice, the content of our writing, and the overall tone of a piece.

Do you have a strong sense of self? How has it helped you in your writing?


  1. Those flaws are what make our writing rich. I think if you can harness and embrace those parts of you that are anything but perfect and imbue those same faults into your characters, your writing will be that much stronger.

  2. What an interesting thought. I've been told so many times that I have low self-esteem that I suppose I just accepted it. It's only in the last few years that I've started to get to know, and maybe even like, myself better. I'd like to think that this is reflected in my writing, but it's hard to tell.

  3. Very interesting idea - I've struggled with low self-esteem and at times, I don't always like who I am, but overall... I like being me and I like what I write. I actually tried to be someone else for a few days - being a serious person and not laughing because I didn't want to be seen as only funny. It was terrible and people wouldn't stop asking what was wrong. A friend eventually helped me realize that it was okay to be the funny one and people knew that I could be serious. I didn't have to change who God made me to be.

  4. I have a very strong sense of self, and it helped my writing in the sense that I realized on my own that I didn't have to apply every piece of writing advice out there. :-)