How do your value yourself as a writer?

I saw something the other day about how we perceive ourselves in our everyday worlds and it got me thinking about how we see ourselves as writers. How much value do you place on yourself as a writer?

And what does that even mean? It may mean something different to each one of us because we are unique individuals. But, there are some aspects of writing that are the same for all. In this world of self-publishing where anyone can upload a book to Amazon, we have all experienced running across books that are sub-par in every aspect from grammar and punctuation to dialogue and unbelievable characters. What kind of impression does that leave with you about the writer?

I do not want to be known as a writer who produces work riddled with errors. Of course, we make mistakes. We are human. But, to gain credibility in this over-crowded industry, we must strive to make every aspect of our written communication as perfect as possible.

That doesn’t mean just our books. That means our blogs, our tweets, our facebook posts and our emails as well. It all reflects on us as self-claimed professionals.

But, in order to value our writing, we must first value ourselves!

I never thought about my self-image reflecting in my writing, especially with writing fiction. After all, it’s a made-up world with made-up people. But, the part that reflects is the pride we take in our writing. For me it all starts with a clean uncluttered writing space (again, I know we are all different). If my work space is clear, my mind is more at ease and I can get into a creative flow.

Expressing the scene we see in our minds is not always the easiest thing to do. When we start to put it into words, if we don’t choose the best descriptive words possible, the scene starts to get fuzzy around the edges and can fade. I use tools. Next to my computer, I have three reference books I grab often. “Emotional Beats” by Nicholas Rossis (who is a member of RRBC) is a fantastic tool to find a more descriptive way to show an emotion, as is “The Emotion Thesaurus” by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman. Those gals know how to put it all together as does Nicholas! The third book I reach for is “Strong Verbs Strong Voice” by Ann Everett.

The saying comes to mind about doing things right the first time. Any extra effort is reflected in our work. So, even though it might take a few more minutes to reach for one of these tools, it’s worth it in the end product. And, our work is a product.

Another aspect of valuing ourselves comes from valuing others. I know that may sound strange, but it is true. Don’t compare yourself to other writers because there are always going to be writers better than you. And even if your best friend, who has been only writing since last spring, did get published, you can’t wallow in self-doubt that you’re not good enough. Take this negative comparing energy and move it towards positive creating energy. Your time will come. Get back into your chair and create! Oh, and create some good karma and congratulate your friend with love and sincerity.

When I was accepted as a member into the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, I knew I had to “up” my game. It is advertised and promoted as the place where the best writers within RRBC reside. And, it has been a great motivator for me. I now proof every email, tweet, FB post and blog post before I hit the publish button. Why? Because I don’t want bad writing to reflect on the organization that so kindly accepted me as a member. AND, I don’t want to be that writer who is criticized for constant grammatical errors. I do value myself as a writer!

If you want others to value you as a writer, it all starts with YOU. Take pride in your work and value what you do. I have read some of the best books in my life written by indie authors! Slowly but surely, we are breaking the misconception that all indie writers are writing slobs. And it all goes back to valuing yourself as an author!

I loved this when I ran across it. Don’t mark your price tag down. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you see yourself as a professional in an industry that is over-saturated with sloppy work. We can continue to change that one great story at a time!

27 thoughts on “How do your value yourself as a writer?

  1. Great post, Jan. The hardest thing about being a writer (for me) is promoting my work. If I don’t value myself or my writing enough to spread the word, that means something is lacking. And I wish I had a dime for every comment or FB post or tweet that I’ve hit the “send” button only to find an error. (Even after proofing.) But we should all strive to better our writing with every new book, short story, or blog post.

    Good books you have listed. I own two of them. Off to Amazon now to check out the Strong Verbs Strong Voice book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think all of us can relate to this post and thoughts about self-value. I too hate to market. That’s not what I enjoy doing. But, if I don’t, my books are not discovered or read, so you are right – it’s all part of the self-value. Thanks so much for weighing in, Joan!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow!! What a powerful blog, it’s so true, how we present ourselves to others truly reflects how they will view us.
    I can promise you’ll go down as one of the sweetest, funny, & fun-loving girl with a passion for telling a remarkable love story.
    Love you so much Jan and thanks for the reminder that we need to love ourselves 1st and foremost!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awwww, Tonya, you always say the sweetest things! We do need to love and be gentle with ourselves. We are the best and closest friend we’ll ever have. 🙂 I’m happy you stopped by and that you enjoyed the post! Big Hugs!

      Like

  3. I love this post, Jan! I am always trying to learn and improve. I keep adding new tools to accomplish that and figuring out what works best for me. I think its a journey we take and we have to be willing to grow. I am much more aware of the words I put out than when I started this and
    I’m grateful for all who are on this path for sharing their wisdom:)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You described it perfectly, Denise. It’s a journey, not a destination. We will never learn everything and staying excited about learning is wonderful! The fact that you are more aware of your words now than when you started is a testimony to the beauty of the whole process! I too am grateful for my fellow travelers, including you, my dear!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi, Jan! What a great post! I’m a perfectionist by nature and sometimes that works for me and sometimes it works against me. I believe I’ve come a very long way since I wrote my first book, The Basement nine years ago. I do value myself as a writer. It is important that I come across as a professional. I’m always trying to learn and improve. I strive to make each book I write better than my previous one. 😀 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it very well, Vashti! And your work reflects your dedication to the craft! We all have lots to learn because this craft of writing is fluid and always moving. We will never learn it all, but we will improve with each new discovery! Thank you so much for stopping by and for such a wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you spin a pretty good yarn too, Craig! 🙂 It’s hard to visualize five years from now. In fact, it’s impossible. But, I do know that if we are open to learning and improving as we go along, we will be better then than now. I’m getting confused. Who’s on first? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Jan. I’ve learned so very much since I began this amazing writing journey, and there’s a joy in knowing I have so much more to learn. Two of my earlier works are currently undergoing a rewrite. The stories and my readers deserve only the best I’m capable of writing. I’ve changed the price on that value tag. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE that, Soooz! I feel the same. Readers deserve only the best I can give them and one book at a time, we can break down the stigma of being Indie Writers! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving an awesome comment! Here’s to raising the value tag!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderfully insightful and inspiring post, Jan. I know I rush too much at certain things and skip others (self promo) for lack of hours in the day. I’m really hoping to change the way I work moving ahead. In the seven years I’ve been publishing, I’ve grown a good deal and value that growth along with where I am in my writer’s journey. It’s never ending. Your reminder that it all boils down to ME is a good one. Thank you. And thanks for the lead on Ann Everett’s book. I have the other two, but was unfamiliar with that one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your awesome comment, Mae! You are already super supportive of others with your book reviews. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the reminder that it does all come down to us to make each us better!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Becoming a writer began as a childhood search for salvation. In my mind, writers were Gods and
    the most important of the Gods were the poets. I began writing poetry when I was eight and this idea of my ‘self’ as a poet sustained me through the darkest hours of my life. I deeply value my life as a writer and never let anything get interfere with it. I need to think a bit more about the other dimension to this question, Jan. It’s a good one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On follow up: I’m glad I decided to re-read the post and the comments. It seems I missed an important point on my first read. On the craft of writing, I’m a perfectionist. Nothing is ever finished. Everything I write is subject to improvement. There is no reason to do anything less than your best, even if you never intend to publish.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally get the perfectionist aspect you mentioned, Rob. My late husband used to say that he would mess up a really good piece by tweaking it just one more time. Like tightening the strings on a guitar too tight and they break. 🙂 Thank you for your comment and I love the way you value yourself and the craft of writing!

    Like

  9. We are our own worst cirtics, that is true. It is also a fact that you can do something a hundred times correctly, but get it wrong just once, and that is what many will focus on. I am with Robert on this one, a written piece is never finished. There is always something to improve on. This is why beta and proof readers are so important! Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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