Over half a year ago, I published this piece on Kingdom Pen at the start of the new year. As a Christian, it’s still a struggle for me to remember my identity lies in God’s grace, not my writing, so this article is still something I deeply relate to.
That said, I thought I’d tweak it a bit and share it with you today. 🙂
Fiction writers are extraordinary people. They slave away at their craft, earning their talent through years of hard work and endless dedication. They pour emotion and soul into their manuscripts. Their stories naturally become a part of them.
As fallen artists, we often associate our identity with our work. We don’t realize it, but we attempt to measure our value by the quality of our writing, our place in a certain writing group or stereotype, or the approval of readers. Misplaced identity grows harmful thought patterns that drain our joy. Writing becomes a drain, not a labor of love.
Harmful Pattern #1: Comparison and Jealousy
This is a trap many writers, myself included, fall into without a second thought. We read the work of others on a regular basis, whether we’re critiquing, beta reading, or casually flipping through the pages of a book. Sometimes the characters are extremely vibrant, the settings practically breathe with life, and the themes leave us speechless. We unconsciously hold another writer’s product beside our own work-in-progress. Our characters whom we adore suddenly seem mediocre at best, flat at worst. Our settings are cliché and our theme is only meaningful to us. Read more