I met lots of cool writers last year when SACRED debuted, Sara Wilson Etienne among them. I knew right when I saw her--purple curls, big smile--that I wanted to be her friend. Today I get to share her guest post, one that resonates with me and, I'm guessing, with lots of people.
What would I burn?
There is a part of me that dreams of creating great stories that people LOVE. It dreams about teaching other people how to write for children and teens. And about author visits and book tours. This is the same part that drives me forward. That makes me work hard and get things just right. It is my ambition--my unshakable belief that I am good enough to share my stories with the world. And it is an essential and joyful part of who I am.
But let me introduce you to ambition’s sister…ego. My ego is dark and small-minded and ruthless. It craves praise and awards and gold stars. And it wants not just to create great books, but to do it BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. And this isn't helpful…not in any sense of the word.
The problem is these sisters look so much alike… it’s easy to confuse the two. Because both can be a driving force. Both look like they take you to the same place...a place with a career and published books. But one is a big-hearted, vulnerable dreamer. And the other is a mean-spirited miser.
I would burn the miser if I could. The part that whispers fears about what I’ll never have. That tries to judge my success by how many Amazon reviews I have, instead of the joy I get from writing my books. It makes me always want moremoremore, never satisfied with the work I'm doing. And it makes me feel small.
BUT I AM NOT. My ego is.