I have a confession to make. There are times that I reread my posts on here. There are also times where I reread my journal entries or revisit written blurbs long forgotten in my notebook stash. And when I do, there are a number of times I may exclaim “yaaaas girl” to myself. Sometimes, my happiness is accompanied with wagging my right hand in excitement as Nigerians do and letting my fingers hit themselves in celebration. Other times, I read my work quietly and nod my head with a satisfied grin. If it is not apparent enough, yes, I sometimes fangirl over my own writing pieces.
For the past few days, I have thought about the idea of a person actually relishing in their own written work and how people may view this behavior. Some would say that this is a demonstration of conceitedness, a behavior that calls for “oh you think you’re all that, huh” swiftly followed by snarky shade that is meant to pop what they see as an inflated ego. Others may find this behavior on the blurred line between confidence and cockiness. Some people may not have thought about it at all. I want to be clear though. I do not mention the idea of fangirling over your work to mean that you walk around telling everybody that you are an amazing writer. I am viewing this purely as a private moment where it is just you and your work and you are happy with what you have done. Hardly do we ever talk about it. And that is why I want to bring the discussion out into the open.
From writer’s block to embarrassing typos and beyond, writers are not afraid discuss their writing woes (myself included). But to admit that we also impress ourselves — that usually stays out of the conversation. I wonder if it is just happenstance or if by writing and putting it out there, it strongly implies your confidence in your writing abilities. Or maybe we are afraid to be marked as arrogant for simply admitting that, yeah, sometimes, we fangirl over our own writing. And I wonder if it is especially an issue for writers who are women because we know this whole “be confident in yourself” thing is a trap. If a woman is apparently self-assured, some will dismiss her as being full of herself because how dare a woman be aware of her abilities and own it. How dare she take up space with the power of her words. But then, if a woman is self-depreciating and unable to take a compliment, she is insecure and is the reason why #selflove campaigns are needed. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
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Men and women alike, those of us who take to the internet to artfully inscribe our ideas and stories tend to be sensitive; it comes with the creative territory and it is kind of ironic, actually. We lay our thin skin bare before the world instead of hiding it thus protecting ourselves. And when we do put our work out there, we may attract admiration. But if there are people who find your work to be a lot like a sip of refreshing water, there are inevitably others who will find that you are not their cup of tea. In fact, because us writers are sensitive souls, the voices saying “I’m not feeling it” can sometimes be louder to us than the voices saying “I dig it.”
And this is precisely why fangirling over your work is necessary. Outside praise will come and go but the confidence in your legitimate writing abilities has come from yourself. It is such an important component to persisting as a writer.
Not only that, but it demonstrates that you love what you do. And the cool thing is there is plenty of room in the shower of praise. Knowing and being confident in what you bring to the writing world does not inhibit you from genuinely celebrating someone else’s writing talent when you witness it. Whenever I read the likes of Tyece, Roconia, Yetti, Erica, Esmé — the list goes on — my “yaaaaas girl’s” are plenty. These girls are someone of the rawest storytellers and authors in the blogosphere. And the cool thing about cyberspace is that there are even more writers and bloggers to explore!
When the perception of fangirling over your own work is seen and done from an angle of self-preservation and resilience instead of arrogance, perhaps there would be less writers who would be self-depreciating when they get compliments about their work. Perhaps there would be less writers who would feel guilty for thinking they are good at what they do.
So if you are a writer that knows you are good at what you do, don’t be ashamed of knowing and celebrating that. You are contributing to that steadfastness and commitment to your writing. Add this self-assuredness with a heart that is always interested in learning and improving as a writer (and as a human being in general, really) and you are definitely on the right track.