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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