Who Am I, Anyway?

Yesterday I spent half an hour or so rounding up my editing credentials for a potential client who wanted to know more about who I am and what I’ve done — happy clients, published books, industry connections, and so on and so forth. It’s an interesting exercise, this putting together of a public face to present to someone.

If asked, most of us would split people in two: they are inner (soul) and outer (body). I read recently, possibly in Strong’s Concordance, that the soul/body split is a Greek concept, while the Hebrews had an entirely different one: your inner self is who you are, and your outer self is who people think you are — your reputation or “name.” The narrower the division, the more genuine and whole the person.

For any professional, but perhaps especially for professional writers, there’s a temptation to create an outer persona that’s not really you. Writing can be intensely personal; it can also be intensely fake. The reason most young writers freak out when anyone asks to see their writing is that it feels so vulnerable. Maybe we can overcome that by cutting off the vulnerability, but I think I’d rather take my chances and do all I can to stay real.

The closer my outer self is to my inner self, the happier I’ll be — and the more chances I’ll have to actually talk to others in a way that impacts them. We can obfuscate when we write, but when we read, we’re always the real us. I think we owe it to our readers to meet them authentically and communicate out of who we really are.






4 responses to “Who Am I, Anyway?”

  1. Elizabeth Avatar

    This is interesting! As one who’s tended to “freak out” at the idea of showing people my writing, I can say … this is a little bit scary, too! *Smile!* But as I seriously pursue publication and all that goes with that, thank you for the reminder to … be who I am, not who I think I ought to be or who I want to be or … whatever … but to just be “me.” Take care!

  2. Rachel Avatar

    Becky, I think you’re right. People are SO multifaceted that being real doesn’t mean putting everything we are out there to everyone — as a fairly private person in some ways, I balk at the very idea. But it does mean that we operate out of integrity at all times; that everything we do put out there is real.

    Rael, I apologize for my book’s poor manners. But I’m glad you’re liking it :).

  3. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    Interesting post, Rachel.

    I’ve recently thought how very few people know me—all of me. For example, I’m a sports nut, but I rarely, rarely talk about sporst on my blog or at Facebook or with my writing friends.

    Equally so, my non-writer friends know only the surface of my writing life.

    I’m wondering, though, as I write this, whether the issue isn’t at all the outside things but “who I am” has to do with my character which is evident in whatever activity or discussion I undertake.

    I used to be bothered with Paul’s statement that to the Jew he was a Jew, to the Greek, a Greek—that he was all things to all people. I thought that sounded like he was condoning hypocrisy, though I knew that wasn’t the case.

    Now I’m thinking he was taking this position that he would relate to others where they were at, which didn’t make Paul phoney because he did so from a position of integrity.

    Anyway, good food for thought in your article, Rachel. Thanks.


  4. Rael Avatar

    Good reminder, Rachel! I just recently felt that vulnerability and fear about a project, but I realized that probably meant it was a place the Lord wants me to grow out of childish self-centeredness. That about the Greek vs. Hebrew idea of the inner and outer self is something to think about!

    I started reading Worlds Unseen last night, and am loving it so far! It’s already trying to distract me from other things I need to do. “Read me, read me,” it whispers! 😉 Your writing washes over and pulls me right into the world. And I love that some of your setting is reminiscent of 19th century England! What a grand idea.

    Have a blessed day!

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