I recently found a new business show, The Pride on CNBC, thanks to my friend Mike over at Converstations.

In one of the first episodes I watched, there was discussion on pride of authorship and it being the downfall of many small businesses.

While I hadn’t quite thought of it in those terms, I have to say the more I thought on it, the more I realize it’s true. In fact, I am pretty guilty of it myself.

Keep reading to find out more about how to deal with it!

What is Pride of Authorship?

“Pride of authorship” is a term that generally refers to a strong sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment that a creator, such as a writer, artist, or designer, feels towards their work.

It encompasses a few key aspects:

  1. Personal Attachment: The creator often feels a deep personal connection to their work. They may see it as an extension of their thoughts, feelings, skills, and efforts.
  2. Quality and Ownership: There is a sense of ownership and responsibility for the quality of the work. Creators with pride of authorship usually put a lot of effort into ensuring their work is of high quality, as it reflects on their personal and professional reputation.
  3. Reluctance to Change: One downside of pride of authorship is that it can sometimes make creators resistant to criticism or suggestions for change. They may feel so attached to their work that they struggle to see it from an objective viewpoint or to accept that there might be ways to improve it.
  4. Motivation and Fulfillment: On the positive side, pride of authorship can be a powerful motivator. The satisfaction of creating something meaningful can drive creators to continue producing work and to strive for excellence.
  5. Identity and Expression: For many creators, their work is a form of self-expression and a key part of their identity. Pride in their work is intertwined with their sense of self and their place in the world.

In summary, pride of authorship is a complex emotion that blends satisfaction, personal attachment, and a sense of accomplishment, but it can also lead to challenges in accepting feedback and making changes.

My Experience with Pride of Authorship

I take pride in the work I do.

Some of it more than others, but it’s all a part of me. It seems the blogs or articles that I spend the most time on, shed the most tears over and produce the most sweat from are the pieces that get the most attention, both positive and negative.

Usually, the positive far outweighs the negative, yet it’s the negative that haunts me.

In fact it can consume me to the point that I can’t even enjoy the positive.

Emotion, the very thing that makes us a good writer, that makes people want to read our blog, is the reason why we defend our work so vehemently when criticized.

Without emotion we wouldn’t be able to connect with our audience, yet when we let it consume us, it can do more harm then good.

When to Defend Your Work

Everything other than your point of view is just wrapping.

The words, the blog and the images you include in any piece you produce is just the vehicle for delivering your point of view, your stance on an issue. Don’t let the emotional attachment to your point of view be mistaken for the vehicle in which you delivered it.

When being offered advice or criticism, think in terms of only defending your point of view.

Your point of view is the soul of the piece and you should be steadfast in your position since you were vulnerable enough to take a stance in the first place.

Pro Tip: There Is No Need to Defend. Just Listen

How you choose to deliver your message will not resonate with everyone.

Accept that and embrace it.

That is the way it should be, that is why you have a platform in the first place. So don’t defend those choices, they really aren’t relevant nor are they worth a debate or an argument.

Just graciously take the information and move on.

When to Learn from Your Work

The quick answer here is always. We should always be looking to learn, right?

When listening to advice or someone’s comments on your work, always listen and try to find some element of truth in the advice being offered.

It might be hard to find but if you are searching for it, you can usually find something.

How to Overcome Pride of Authorship

Keeping your emotions in check when listening to people critique your work is hard.

Very hard.

The key is to remember it is about the product and not you. The discussion is not about you as a writer, it is only about that one piece of work.

So how do you keep the emotion out of it and avoid pride of authorship? Here are some key tips:

  1. Listen: People want to be heard and sometimes just letting them voice their opinion is all that is needed.
  2. Find the Truth: There is an element of truth in all criticism. It’s your job to find it.
  3. Ask for Specific Suggestions: General advice doesn’t help anyone. Look for the truth in specificity.
  4. Avoid Defensive Behavior: This should go without saying but it is worth mentioning.
  5. Let it Go: The reality is some of the opinions, advice and criticism you get will be helpful and some won’t. Let what you don’t need go.
  6. Smile and Be Thankful: That is all that is needed. There is no need to go into your intentions for the feedback. Just smile, say thank you and walk away. Job Done.

Final Thoughts

Let me finish by saying, continue to be passionate while creating, but learn to separate from that emotion once you release your creation into the world.

Avoid pride of authorship at all costs!

Defend your point of view but spend the rest of the time learning how to better connect with more people. It is what will allow your voice to become powerful.