If You Want to Write: Part Five

I wrote about putting yourself into your work, and I think that is the most challenging part of creative output. On one hand you need to be genuine and give your point of view, but then you don’t want to go to far the other way and become egotistical and make everything revolve around you.

The next chapter I want to talk about is titled:

People Confuse the Human and Divine Ego

I think it’s true and it’s a shame we have so many words but also lack words for so many things in the English language, I don’t think divine completely captures the idea of the creative ego. I don’t see a divide between the human and the divine as some philosophies do, but I think there is a healthy ego and an unhealthy ego.

Another way to see it is in terms of taking or giving. There is a taking ego and there is a giving ego.

There is a common phrase that people love to talk about themselves, but I think a more honest and insightful way to phrase that is that people love to share their experiences.

When I started going to improv workshops it was with the mindset of showing off what I knew. When teacher’s talked about “Yes anding” I was always ready to chip in with examples, and when I was doing scenes there was a part of me that just wanted to show that I understood what I was doing. It was quite exhausting and unabalancing to always be looking for reassurance outside myself though, as I got more experience and more self-awareness I gained more confidence and starting seeing it differently.

Instead I turned up trying to listen and take in as much new information possible. Then I started learning. Mind. Blown.

I think I have learned a lot and I have very useful things to share with others, but I also know that sometimes I can talk without wanting to share; maybe to fill up an insecurity I feel in the moment, sometimes just old habits. I don’t feel relaxed and fulfilled after I talk like that, I feel drained and unsure. But when I pass on my own experience because I think it might help I just feel relaxed and amused, like I saw a funny dog go by the window. It is humorous that I have learned a way of speaking that obfuscates what I really want to share, it’s also funny that improvising is all about discovery and yet all the beginner and intermediate mistakes revolve around distancing yourself from engaging with what is going on. We do the exact opposite of what we want to achieve and wonder why we are frustrated.

Amusing. And now I feel a lot better from rewriting that paragraph into what I wanted to share. That’s how I check in and see if I’m telling or sharing. Do I feel relaxed and chucklesome? Probably sharing. Do I feel frustrated and annoyed that nobody is listening? Probably telling.

Thinking like that has given me real confidence in what I am doing in my life, in all areas, because:


“Self-confidence never rests, but is always working and striving, and it is always modest and grateful and open to what is new and better.” -Loc 934


When I beat myself up that’s still the human ego. I can be bad enough to suck but good enough to know that I suck, and also sucking allows me to be the centre of my own attention. Maybe I have no idea what sucks and what doesn’t and I’m trying to figure it out for myself. That attitude lets me be a human in a room with other humans who are all trying to work out their own voice and process. I’m giving my attention and patience to the task. I’m just there. And I can’t learn anything if I’m not there so why not just be there?


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