Andi Cumbo - Writer, Editor, Online Writing Courses, Classes & Lessons

Writerly Self-Absorption and a Selfless Cure

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I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. — Albert Schweitzer

I can be really selfish and self-centered. I can turn entirely inward, think about only my own goals, my own problems, my own needs. Unfortunately, the writing life makes it even easier for me to give in to this human tendency to be self-absorbed. I spend most days alone thinking. This in itself is not a bad thing, but when this pattern is not tempered with the needs and problems and thoughts of other people, it is so easy for me to think my needs and problems and thoughts are the only ones that exist.

Perhaps this is why we are urged to be people of service. We need to be reminded that others have their own struggles, too, not just because it helps them but because it also helps us. It helps us be kinder, gentler people. It helps us put our own lives in perspective and not be so overwhelmed by them. It helps us have more to write about and helps us write with more compassion, more honesty.

Of course, we serve others because we care about that – that needs to be our first goal. The Creator of the universe is wise beyond measure, however. In the system of this world, by helping our fellow humans means, in the end, we also help ourselves. That’s a beautiful thing.

Other Writers on Serving
“What You Get from Giving: The Paradox of Generosity” – Jeff Goins
“Others First Friday: Help Grow a Small Business” — Ken Mueller of Inkling Media

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Author: Andi

I'm a writer, teacher, and editor who is currently working on a book about the slaves who lived and worked on the farm where I now live. I blog daily at http://www.andilit.com I have three cats - Oscar, Emily and Charlotte - who have taken to living on the farm quite well - bird-, frog-, and butterfly-hunters all.

One Comment

  1. The self-centeredness and selfishness is not unique to writers, it is the human condition. We all need to remind ourselves the importance of service. And you are so right — we get so much out of it when we do serve!
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