The World Will Tell Writers Not to Be Proud

Even if it’s bragging, who says we don’t deserve to every now and then?

Even though this blog will continue posting as normal about the usual topics during this time, I just want you to know that no matter who you are, even if I don’t know you, you matter to me. I’m doing everything I can to amplify the voices that need to be heard right now on the appropriate platforms. Stay safe. Keep going. And take care of yourself.

And please consider being part of the solution.

“I can’t stand people who talk about their own writing. They must be so self-centered.”

“Self-promotion will never not look bad.”

“Don’t talk about what you’ve accomplished. Focus on what you’re going to accomplish next.”

“Plenty of people have written books. It’s nothing worth celebrating.”

Many writers, believe it or not, get comments like this. Writing “experts” write entire blog posts about this very topic. Don’t be obnoxious. Don’t talk about yourself so much. Don’t be proud.

They’re wrong, of course. Every single one of them.

Is there such a thing as too much self-promotion? Too much “here’s what I’m writing about today” talk? Too much celebration, not enough dedication? Of course. People tend not to be fond of people in general who only talk about themselves and their own accomplishments, and nothing else.

But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t — that we’re, for whatever reason, not allowed — to be proud of what we’re doing or what we’ve already done. It doesn’t mean we can’t promote our work or celebrate the amazing things we’ve done, the milestones we’ve hit, the long-standing goals we’ve met.

If that’s the case, though … why do so many writers struggle to do these very things?

What you think might be the obvious answer — that sometimes people aren’t confident about their work and don’t want to put it out there for the entire world to see — isn’t always the issue. Many times, the reason we don’t self-promote is because we’re afraid someone will say something along the lines of the examples laid out at the beginning of this post.

We’re worried people will think we’re bragging, and not in a good way. Not all of us. But many.

It’s pretty silly, if you think about it. You hold back from telling your friends you’re writing a book because you’re afraid some of them will tell you it’s no big deal. Or you keep your book a secret for months — YEARS? — because someone on the internet said you shouldn’t brag about your accomplishments.

Writing is just as challenging and worth celebrating as anything else. I don’t know why it’s so often treated like a joke profession or a hobby that “anyone can do.”

And I don’t know why we can’t all just step up and let ourselves be proud of all we’ve done, all we’re doing, and all we’re going to do.

Don’t be quiet about your work because someone else thinks you should.

Yell about it. You deserve to.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.

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