The Lifeblood of Writing — My Story

Kent Stolt
May 2, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo by Levi XU on Unsplash

The key to my writing is my ever-growing ego.

There, I finally said it. (Thank you, Dr. Freud.)

And believe me, if you knew me, my personality, and my life story, you would understand the irony because, well, self-confidence and me haven’t exactly seen eye to eye over the years. Having a strong ego has never been an easy concept for me to wrap my mind around, let alone declare publicly.

But it’s never too late to learn, and slowly but surely I am learning that ego is critical to achieving any success in writing. It’s part of my hope. It’s also part of my struggle. I am willing to bet the same holds true for you.

First, a few definitions:

ego -noun- “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”

egotistical -adjective- “excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; vain; boastful; opinionated”

Egoistic -noun- “one who has an exaggerated self-importance and may think he is more important than anyone else”

My advice to you: Embrace the ego, be careful with the egotistical, and stay safely clear of the Egoistic.

Embrace the ego of the author — you.

No, you and I probably are not going to be the next Hemingway or Capote. Sorry, but ego still has to have some realistic limits. Nonetheless, you have a love and respect for the written word, and you know how hard it is to write well and connect with an audience. You are a deserving craftsman, and for that reason, it’s good to tell yourself every time you start tapping out words to your latest story something along the lines of— “I don’t want them to forget about me when I pass through this world, damn it! That’s why I want my writing to work. This is why I keep coming back and keep laying it on the line for all to see.”

One has to believe in what he or she can do if one is to write long enough to write well enough. But at the same time, one has to prepare for the fact that there will always be room for improvement.

“I’m a big-mouth and an exhibitionist, and I’m slightly egotistical. All those things have to come together for a writer.” — Ben Richards

Embrace the ego of your subject.

It’s an obvious enough thought, but one that can easily be forgotten or set aside in the midst of the work. Whoever you’re writing about is special and critical to your story. They have to be or you have no story. Whether it’s yourself, a thing or place, the characters of your novel, or my favorite, the subject of your biographical story, the subject you’re writing about deserves the best you’ve got when it comes to telling that story.

{When I wrote a piece about my immigrant grandfather coming to America you can be damn sure I wanted to do it the best I could.}

It’s your duty and responsibility to make the subject you’ve chosen as real and unforgettable as possible. (Obviously with non-fiction that responsibility has to stay within the framework of fact and truth.)

”I’m an artist and that means I can be as egotistical as I want to be” — Lou Reed

Embrace the ego of your readers.

They’re special. They’re refined. They have read anything and everything and possess pretty good bullshit detectors when it comes to any writing that is slanted or disingenuous. They are selective with their reading time and attention — with all the outlets out there today they have to be. But take heart, there will always be readers out there willing to give you a chance and hear what you have to say. That is, if you say it well. Therein lies your challenge — getting their attention and then earning their loyalty and respect. Hopefully by now you’ve accepted the belief that your story subject and your innate writing skills are good enough to get you through. Once you start pulling those wonderful readers over to your side, you’re well on your way.

“In this story I am the poet, you are the poetry.” — Arzum Uzun

You don’t need me to tell you that trying to make one’s mark in any art form, certainly with writing, is not for the faint of heart. While I’ve come a long way in believing in what I can do when it comes to writing, I know there’s still a long way to go. I’m not that egotistical. At least not yet. (lol)

Because in the end for me it still comes down to one thing. I don’t want to be forgotten.

Neither do you.

So thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ll be happy to repay the favor.

And embrace the ego.


Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today. You'll say you knew them when.

Kent Stolt

Written by

Wisconsin-based writer, storyteller and history buff. Keep it simple. Make it real.


Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today. You'll say you knew them when.

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