There’s a place for both humility and ego in any creative project. Ego has its place in drafting, in creating, in crafting… Humility is needed for editing and yes, crafting goes here too.
The one time I get the perfect balance of humility and ego is when I’m working on a project with another author. I highly recommend people do this, even if they just do a short work.
- You bounce ideas off one another, and you learn that something good can come from almost any idea.
- Opposite thoughts on how a story could go, often leads to an entirely new solution, which I’d never come up with on my own.
- You fight for your character or your idea, and your partner does the same. You’re able to see so many more sides of the story in a much shorter amount of time.
- We “grill” one another on plot points and on character, which helps give us a solid idea to move forward with.
- Two minds are almost always better than one.
- You have a partner to call you out when you try to take the easy way through a situation in the story, or emotion in the story, or setting in the story, or characterization… You get the idea.
- When you reach solid milestones, you have someone to high-five over your raging success.
- You know how at some points, you KNOW your story is the best thing ever? Multiply that by two.
- You know how sometimes you KNOW your story is the worst thing ever? Multiply that by two as well. The brilliant time is when one of you is up and the other is down – I find we often meet in the middle, more determined than ever.
- When your hard-earned completed project finds its way onto the shelves of your local bookstore, and bookstores nationwide, you get to stand with a friend and say, “Holy (insert your fav *&#%$ here), look what we did.”
Can you get this feeling through your beta readers and critique partners?
Is it the same?
But it is definitely close enough.
The one piece of advice I will always, always, always give is this: Find your people. Love them hard. You’ll need the help before you’re published, during the publishing process, and once that child of a story is out in the world.