Self-Respect and the Writer

by Meryl K Evans | Category: Business, Life Tips, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 10 comments
respect Self Respect and the Writer

Image credit: Cecile Graat

In her latest issue of The Prosperous Writer, Christina Katz asks, “On a scale of one to ten, how’s your self-respect? Can you say no? Do you say yes to yield to social pressure and supposed-tos and then suffer for it? Are you catering to too many other people’s needs but burning out in the process? Do you listen to and trust your instincts about what is and isn’t the best way to proceed?”

I aim for balance when it comes to my writing business and personal life. I love the flexibility that comes with my business. Spending time with my family, taking care of my health and contributing to my community are all priorities in my life.

  • Family: I chose to have a family and that involves spending time with them. It doesn’t mean spending hundreds of dollars on vacation or expensive activities. It can be as simple as reading a book together, playing a board game or sitting at the dining table.
  • Health: If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t perform my best for clients, family and others. I believe in “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” When I don’t get seven to eight hours of sleep, I function at 50 percent the next day, if that. Staying up a couple of hours late isn’t worth the effects it would have on the following day.
  • Community: Contributing to my community matters because it takes a village to take care of our world. Without programs and people, many things would never happen to make a difference in people’s lives.

Every year, I gain a couple of new assignments, which often take me out of my comfort zone because they’re new.  Already, I have a new gig that is different that pushes my boundaries while I have fun. I maintain a variety of clients because I enjoy the diversity of the work. Plus, if one should go out of business (knock on wood), my business won’t fall apart because I still have other gigs. I’ve been fortunate that I bring in new clients on a consistent basis.

I thought about creating a course that I’d teach by email. After long deliberations, I opted not to do it. Developing a course not only requires pulling together strong, interactive content, but also promoting it and keeping it fresh. As much as I love the subject, I didn’t have enough confidence that I’d have enough enrollment on a regular basis. Furthermore, I’ve noticed those who do well in offering such classes tend to speak a few times a year and have at least one known published book.

I’m comfortable with giving presentations, but uncomfortable with the answering questions part — a very critical part of the two-way interaction. So that’s not a priority in my business, but I wouldn’t turn down free travel and the opportunity. If it happens, I bring index cards so people can write their questions down or send it  to me on Twitter. Sure, I’ve written two books, but they’re not focused on my expertise.

Because I’m not a high energy person, every opportunity that comes my way receives careful consideration. I do what I can to avoid overwhelming myself and keeping my work streamlined.

How’s your self-respect?

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  • Posted by Jeanne Dininni on January 13th, 2010, 3:47 PM

    Very wise words indeed, Meryl! Thanks for presenting such a balanced perspective! It can be so difficult to reach that place of balance–and genuine self-respect. And the two are definitely linked, as you’ve so clearly demonstrated. When we respect ourselves, we’re able to set more effective boundaries and achieve greater balance, which brings us greater satisfaction.

    Thanks for a great post!

  • Posted by Tweets that mention Self-Respect and the Writer | -- on January 14th, 2010, 3:13 AM

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  • Posted by on January 15th, 2010, 9:42 AM

    Self-Respect and the Writer |…

    In her latest issue of The Prosperous Writer, Christina Katz asks, “On a scale of one to ten, how’s your self-respect? Can you say no? Do you say yes to yield to social pressure and supposed-tos and then suffer for it? Are you catering to too many othe…

  • Posted by Meryl on January 15th, 2010, 10:40 AM

    Jeanne, thanks for your lovely comment. Sometimes I wonder if I need to do more work so I can see more great opportunities coming my way. But I have a fear of doing too much. How about you?

  • Posted by Jeanne Dininni on January 15th, 2010, 11:00 AM

    Hi, again, Meryl!

    I, too, have a tendency to overdo. So, this is one area I need to work on. It would probably be a good idea for me to do my best to develop a healthy fear of doing too much! ;-)

    Have a wonderful–and balanced–day!


  • Posted by George Angus on January 16th, 2010, 1:59 AM

    Hi Meryl,

    I am so impressed at how well you know yourself. Your limitations and boundaries. That pays big dividends in the long run and tells me that you have a healthy level of self respect and now, even more respect from this reader.


    .-= George Angus’s blog …Smashwords Means Ebooks Galore! =-.

  • Posted by Meryl on January 16th, 2010, 11:56 AM

    George, funny thing is I am a very mean critic when it comes to my stuff. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Posted by Shunta on January 19th, 2010, 2:14 PM

    Saying no isn’t an issue; it’s the results that follow that sometimes bother me. Some people don’t like getting no for an answer, even if it is a one time “hey I just can’t take it on and give you the content you need,” reason. Losing a job because of not being able to say yes sucks, but I’m learning it’s not always about them. Sometimes you just have to check in with yourself and do what’s best for your sanity and your health.

  • Posted by Ching Ya on January 22nd, 2010, 12:40 PM

    Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed and slight burnt out from all the tasks I need to submit. The responsibility will pretty much put the pressure on us, very hard, sometimes. To deal with balance and relieve pressure is of great importance. That’s the biggest challenge for bloggers/writers, really, even mightier than writer blocks.

    I’ll need to evaluate my self-respect in a weekly manner. To me, family is still no.1, although I really need to look after my health more nowadays. What am I doing 2a.m. still up and not in bed? Yes, tasks at hands. :P

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya’s blog …How Blog Review Can Help to Improve Blog Traffic =-.

  • Posted by Meryl on January 22nd, 2010, 3:52 PM

    @Shunta, that is a tough situation. I would say the same thing, “I have a full schedule, which will make it difficult for me to deliver high quality content AND on schedule.” I try to refer them to someone else or ask if they will negotiate a different date.

    @Ching Ya, sounds like you have your most important priority under control and just need to do a little work on getting your rest. Think how much more you’ll get done and at a better quality if you feel more rested. It makes a difference for me.

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