Indie Author Weekly

146: The importance of being earnest as a writer

May 09, 2023 Sagan Morrow Episode 147
Indie Author Weekly
146: The importance of being earnest as a writer
Show Notes Transcript

Let’s talk about the importance of being earnest as a writer and getting comfortable with potentially embarrassing yourself! In this episode, we cover…

  • The self-consciousness → self-compassion spectrum that many of us experience as writers, and the importance of embracing earnest along the way.
  • How I reviewed my high school creative writing assignment where the professor didn’t understand that my “grammatical error” was actually a stylistic choice, not a grammatical error (and how I was very indignant about it!) — and the importance of knowing the rules before you break them.
  • The worries and fears we might have about “Will readers understand my writing style and storytelling choices?” — and why it’s okay if people don’t “get it.”
  • Consequences of being true to ourselves, our messages, and our voices: Who benefits from us NOT being vocal and true to ourselves? What is true for me? If I wasn’t worried about how I’d be perceived, what would I want to say? Or, if I knew that people would really appreciate whatever my truth happens to be, what would I say? 
  • What I LOVE about the work I do nowadays: How I write about characters who are working through this exact type of issue, AND how I get to coach people working through these issues as well.

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Hello and welcome to the indie author weekly podcast where you get to hear about the behind the scenes journey of my adventures as an indie author. I'm your host Sagan Morrow, and since 2016, I have written and published seven romantic comedy novels in the polyamorous passion series, plus several business books for solopreneurs. Today, let's talk about embracing earnestness and getting comfortable with potentially embarrassing yourself. So, I recently found some high school creative writing assignments that I had done. And I thought it was really interesting because back then, you know, my assignments in high school, you can feel how earnest my writing is. And you know, when I go back through and I find novels and stories that I wrote when I was a kid like, literally like when I was 10 years old, I found that was recently as well. And you can just feel the earnestness coming through. And I think that this is the same all the way along throughout like from from then from when I first you know, could pick up a pen and write a story. Up until now when you read my social media posts when you read my novels, when you read my business books, the emails that I send people, like my email newsletter, when you listen to these podcast episodes, I think that you can sense the the deep rooted earnestness that is within everything. I'm a very earnest person, and that really shows through in the content that I create. And so when I was looking at this recently when I you know, found these old assignments and that kind of thing, I was thinking about how interesting it is when we look at kind of like the the self consciousness to earnestness spectrum. And how, what often happens is, people can be really self conscious about the work that they're doing and the content that they're creating. And that can really trip them up. And so we what we want to do is to bridge the gap and get from being self conscious, to much more self compassionate and really embracing earnestness along the way, and being earnest is really rooted in being true to yourself and sharing your truth with the world. Right. So, one of the things that I thought was very interesting as well, you know, when I was looking at this high school creative writing assignment in particular, I found that there was this this note that a professor had written on this assignment. And it was so funny because when I tracked down the assignment, I was like, I remember writing this assignment. And I remember this note that the professor had left for me, and basically they were correcting me with the, the grammar at the end of this assignment. It was some kind of a creative writing piece. And I had left it on this, you know, the wording that I had used. They were like, Oh, this is this is grammatically incorrect. And I was so indignant about this because I lost marks on it and everything. And at the time, I was like, this wasn't a grammatical error. I know my grammar. This was a stylistic choice. This was a specific choice, a deliberate choice that I made to you know, make the make that moment really land at the end of this story that I had written. And I was very indignant about it. And it was really funny, because when I tracked down this assignment when I was looking at it again, I was rereading it I was like, Yeah, I was correct. Like back then when I was a teenager, and I wrote the story, it was a good stylistic choice that I made. You Yes, it wasn't grammatically correct, but you can break the rules of grammar. Not everything needs to be absolutely perfect. You can make stylistic choices. What you always want is to know the rules before you break them because then you can break them in a really effective sort of manner. And I guess my professor did not understand that I knew grammatical rules. So it was something that was very indignant about at the time. And this kind of, you know, brought to mind that you know, when we're talking about being self conscious about our work and that kind of thing. Sometimes we can look back on our work and we might be worried about how is going to be perceived will people understand us? In this instance, with my high school professor, clearly he did not understand me. He did not understand my writing style, and I lost marks as a result. And this is always going to be the case. No matter what, this is always going to be the case when people read our writing. Some people are going to understand where we're coming from, and they're going to really enjoy the style that we choose and things like that. And other times, people just aren't going to get it and that's okay. Right. It is okay. That some people will understand it and it will connect with them. it'll resonate with them, and for other people, it just won't. That is just the reality of sharing ourselves with the world. So we always want to be really cautious with these types of things to make sure that if we are putting ourselves out there, that it's okay if people don't get us right and we can always, you know, continue to create content and continue to explore ways where people might understand us better, right? We can always improve our writing and that kind of thing. But there's always going to be some people who just won't appreciate it, and that's okay. So, what kind of this comes back to again, is really looking at how can we then be true to ourselves? How can we be willing to put ourselves out there and be self compassionate and not let self consciousness or worries about how our work will be perceived? hold us back. Right so part of this has to do with identifying the consequences of being true to ourselves, of being true to the messages that we want to put out into the world of being true to our style and our voices. Who benefits from us not being vocal, and not being true to ourselves? What are the consequences if you embraced how earnest you are? What are the consequences to that? And what are the consequences to not doing that? So what I like to look at is really you know, what is true for me? If I wasn't worried about how I would be perceived, what would I want to say? Or if I knew for a fact 100% that people would really appreciate whatever my truth happens to be. What would I say? So these are really good questions to explore. If you find that you are being held back by things. And it's funny, you know, again, bringing it back to that kind of like, embarrassed sort of thing that often happens. Sometimes that happens when we look back on our old work and things like that. If you look back on it, and you're like, Oh, I was like overly earnest in that particular, you know, piece of writing that I did, or, you know, oh, my writing just isn't as wasn't as good it is as it is now. Right? All those types of things. When those come up, I would really encourage you to take a beat. Take a pause and ask yourself was that true for me when I wrote it, and when I put it out there and oftentimes you'll find that you know what, yes, it was true for you them and you might have grown since then. Then you might have improved your writing, your writing skills, your storytelling skills, all of these types of things. That's great. But if that was true, for you them, then there's like, Why? Why would you be embarrassed about it? If that was who you were, then that's wonderful. That's really beautiful that you shared that with the world. And you know, one of the things that I really love about the work that I do, especially when it comes to my book, specifically is that I get to write characters who are now experiencing those type of things. So my characters really you know, in my polyamorous passion series and all the other novels that I'm working on right now that haven't been published yet all of my characters are constantly in this state of trying to discover themselves and trying to be true to themselves. And they're often dealing with these internal conflicts around what are the expectations of me what were my own expectations of me? What are society's expectations of me? What am I worried about? How I'm going to be perceived and how
is that holding me back? Who am I? At my core, who do I want to be? What is true for me? They are all working through those types of things and uncovering that and embracing their true selves. So I love that I get to write about that in my novels. And the other thing that I really love is that I also get to coach people on this exact thing. So many of my clients, you know what we're doing what we're really doing at the core of it. Is I'm coaching them and helping them to really get at the core of who they are and who they want to be, what is true for them, and how they can do and be more of that and share more of that with the world and really step into what is their truth, what is true for them. So it's it's very beautiful. I really love that I get to work on this in all aspects of my business, both the book writing side and the coaching client side. I think that it is just absolutely delightful. And then this is just something that, you know, came to mind again, when I was looking at these these old projects that I've written, and, you know, really thinking about how my writing style and my storytelling style has absolutely changed over the years, but I just think it's very lovely. That being earnest has always been there has always been an underlying foundation of the work that I do. So I think that's very lovely. All right. So there you have it, that is my take on embracing who you are and some thoughts on allowing yourself to be that if you have additional questions about this topic or any other topic that you would like me to address here on indie author weekly, I would love to hear it. So please submit your topic ideas or any questions that you have at Sagan And if you would like to see what I'm talking about with the way that I am very earnest in my writing, and my storytelling, you can absolutely check it out in any of my books. So they're available at all major bookstores, or you can visit Sagan to kind of sort of see what the characters are going through that I mentioned. And if you would like to get coached on this type of thing, or anything else that might be going on in your life. Then we can also book a one on one success and life coaching session. So you can book your spot at Sagan That my friend is a wrap for today's episode of indie author weekly access the shownotes for this episode, including all links and additional resources at Sagan and share your thoughts on this episode on Twitter or Instagram. My handle is at Sagan lives. Please take two minutes to rate and review indie author weekly on Apple podcasts. Or if you're watching this episode on YouTube, please subscribe to my channel and give this video the thumbs up. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will see you next week for another episode of Indie Author Weekly.