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Also, I'm a pundit for the American Daily Herald if you'd like to follow my column: American Daily Herald--Vicki H. Moss

Posted October 10, 2012


Writing can sometimes be like jumping out of an airplance. Before I jumped out of an airplane, I heard, "She'll chicken out."

And, "No, she'll break a leg. All girls who jump out of airplanes break something."

Then, "Wow. I've never seen anyone practice their perfect landing falls so many times."

And, "She seems determined. She might jump if she has the nerve to step out on the wing strut."

Then, "But I still think she'll break a leg."

I jumped and didn't break a leg. And then later, I jumped again into the publishing world. Jumping out of an airplane was a whole lot easier than trying to jump into the publishing world. Why? Because I had to put myself out there. Ugh. On the internet wing strut.

At the last writers' conference I attended, I heard the same statement over and over again. "All I want to do is write, I don't want to market. I'm an introvert and I don't want to be in the public eye having to deal with the publicity end. All of that putting myself out there and trying to draw attention to myself is distasteful. It's so egoistic."

The one thing that keeps rearing its head in the writing world these days is--do you have to be egocentric or egoistic to be a writer? Notice I was talking about having a healthy ego and not being a jerk. Literary agent Chip Macgregor recently wrote an excellent blog article on October 9, 2012 about this very subject.

I heard Cecil Murphey once say that to be a writer you must be a tad egoistic. You have to be willing to put yourself out there--so people will know you exist so they can purchase your books. There are so many books being published, you must wave a flag to let your target audience know, "Hey, I just wrote a book I think you'll find interesting."

Earl Hamner, Jr., author of the book Spencer's Mountain and the television series, "The Walton's," said he was told he couldn't break in to television because he was coming from a radio career. When he began writing scripts for Hollywood, he was told, "You can't make it in film because you're coming from television." He proved the naysayers wrong there as well with many movies to his credit. Earl said, "My advice to young writers is this--you have to be arrogant."

Being arrogant doesn't mean being a jerk. Being arrogant and egoistic means believing in yourself as a writer--that you can do the job and no one can distract you from your goal of writing with the intent to publish if you so choose to go that route. And if someone does tell you that you can't be successful as a published writer, prove them wrong.

Go ahead.


Comments anyone?

If you would like to comment or have questions about this article, email me vmoss@livingwaterfiction.com

Great advice, Vicki, and I would even add that having confidence in your work is not egotistical. I recently heard one of my favorite singers mention that you should have a huge belief in yourself and what you're doing in order to put it out there for all to see. ~ Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine

I like that Gary, belief in yourself. So much better than the word egotistical!

"Each time I jump as I submit a manuscript, I have to learn to wait and be patient. Continuing to write helps and then, I get that call or notice that a manuscript has been chosen. In His own time... ~Irmgard Haerr Williams

It's the waiting that's so hard isn't it Irmgard? And writing does help. We have to keep plugging along.

Wow! This metaphor is so accurate! Hugs ~Emily Sue Harvey, author of Cocoon

Thanks Susie! Can't wait until your next book comes out.

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