Writing can be a very lonely profession. I am not for one moment suggesting that writers are friendless or that we live a hermit-like existence on coffee and cheese sandwiches, but much of our working day is of necessity spent inside our own heads. The trouble with spending a great deal of time with ourselves is that we think. We are our nation’s thinkers after all.
What happens if you give a world class thinker nothing but themselves to think about? Self-reflection, insecurity, and boozy Monday mornings, that’s what!
So, how do we avoid the negativity trap? Well, it has a great deal to do with the difference between Egotism and Confidence. Egotism can be defined as the drive to maintain and enhance favourable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated sense of self importance. Confidence on the other hand is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
Egotism is emotional toddlerhood – Confidence is emotional adulthood
Egotism always seeks the I and the me. Confidence is always certain of the I and the me and is looking out for the you. We all walk this emotional tightrope. Some days the toddler wins but it helps if you are aware that it is there throwing the mother of all tantrums and you learn not to listen to the ‘I can’t’, ‘They didn’t’, ‘I don’t want to’.
Confidence comes with knowing what you can do for other people. Perhaps you excel at magazine articles, technical papers or short stories. Perhaps you write copy for a website or advertising. Every small success working for the pleasure of other people will bring you increased confidence.
No amount of success working solely for your own benefit will silence the toddler. You need to learn to grow up and walk away.
And so do I.