I am not my book… Or am I?

Emu's Debuts headerEarlier this month over on Emu’s Debuts, I blogged about the importance, and difficulties, of separating the creator (ourselves) from the works created. Since some of you may not follow that blog, I thought I should post it here, too. Here’s an excerpt…

On Monday, Tara wrote a great post stating, “I am not my book.” If you haven’t read it yet, please do! There is so much wisdom in that way of thinking, and I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate it into my life as I move forward in my career as an author. I am certainly going to try. Unfortunately, I think for most of us separating the author from the book is much easier said than done, both as readers and as writers.

As readers, I think we tend to equate the author with the work more often than we might care to admit. We ask ourselves, “Would I like this person?” and we base our answer on whether or not we liked the book and the ideas it contained. When we love a book, we assume we’d love the author if we ever got the opportunity to meet him or her in person. (Sadly, this isn’t always the case!) If we don’t connect with a book, we assume we won’t be able to connect with its author. (Fortunately, this isn’t always the case, either!) Conversely, when we like an author in real life, we expect we will also like his or her books. And if we don’t like the author? Well, we probably won’t even bother reading the books!

As writers, it’s even more difficult to separate ourselves from our work. We pour everything we have into our books, often over the course of many years. But, no matter how long and hard we’ve worked on a project, we still see the flaws in it—flaws we either don’t have time to fix or don’t yet know how to. Or, perhaps worse, flaws we didn’t even know were there that rear their ugly heads and reveal themselves to us after it’s too late to change them. Once published, a book becomes both frozen in time and yet strangely immortal, forever associated with its creator—flaws and all.

I recently came across this quote on the Writing Quotes blog on Tumblr, which really hit home for me and helped me find a way to think about separating the author from the work…

Click here to read the rest of the post.

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