Saturday, September 22, 2012

on humility: wise words from a writer


"Do you know what that is to be humble? The word comes from the Latin words humilis and humus. To be down low. To be of the earth. To be on the ground. That’s where I went when I wrote the last word of my first book. Straight onto the cool tile floor to weep. 
 I’d stopped being grandiose. Which meant I had to write my book. My very possibly mediocre book. My very possibly never-going-to-be-published book. My absolutely no-where-in-league-with-the-writers-I’d-admired-so-much-that-I-practically-memorized-their-sentences book. It was only then, when I humbly surrendered, that I was able to do the work I needed to do." 

**All of the people I look up to share that trait: humility. They are aware of their own limitations, the failures it took to get where they are, and that there will always be a way to improve, a way to evolve. Before we become disappointed for not accomplishing a goal, it's okay to remind ourselves that a lot of them take time. Expecting something to occur quickly is dismissing the very nature of the process. 


9 comments:

  1. I think humility is an integral ingredient in any foundation of success.

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  2. I feel like I live my life in humility. There are so many things I try to do that I haven't succeeded in, so I can't "get too big for my britches" as my Irish grandmother used to say.

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  3. Well said! Only a laden tree bends down in humility:)

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  4. I think weeping after a finished book is a common response. I think mine would be followed by, "and I am never doing this again".

    Humility is something that keeps you more in touch with your emotions and that, in turn, makes you a better writer. Think of how someone who is excessively egotistical loses his/her ability to connect to completely realistic characters; yes, he/she can mimic what he/she has done before but it is only an echo of a past self and nothing of true substance.

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  5. Humility keeps us grounded. Its the humble who reach great heights. Loved the picture of you and Samir in your previous post. Left a comment albeit late :(

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  6. I love this! I think humility is a key to writing-- and I think writing helps keep us humble. Just when we think we're pretty dang awesome, we write something we have to totally chuck and we remember we always have work to do. Hopefully we don't also go to the opposite extreme and get completely down on ourselves, though!

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  7. How true! It's interesting how self-absorbing writing can be, yet I would say that humility is important for success. Staying grounded is key!

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