If you find it challenging to become the person you want to be—a nonfiction writer or author, consider developing an alter ego. This “alternative self’ might be just what you need to begin showing up at your computer with the characteristics, behaviors, and mindsets you desire—and know you need to succeed at a writing and publishing career.
Simply defined, your ego is that portion of your personality experienced as the “self” or “I.” It is the conscious mind or consciousness of your own identity that distinguishes itself from others and the external world.
Your alter ego is a different version of yourself. While some might consider it a random personality, you can choose your alter ego. And, if you intentionally create an alter ego that helps you achieve the desired results, like completing a book manuscript or finding a literary agent, you will find yourself achieving them much more quickly.
I talk a lot about identity and choosing who you want to be with my coaching clients and members of the Nonfiction Writers’ University, and Inspired Creator Community. This concept is not that different from choosing an alter ego. However, an identity is something you become or are already. You can choose who you want to be—such as someone who is committed, self-integral, or a prosperous author—and that is who you are. From the moment you make that decision, you are that person. Yet, you don’t show up as that identity sometimes or in certain situations, but always.
On the other hand, an alter ego is a different version of yourself you step into when necessary or desired. Seen from this perspective, an alter ego is situational. For instance, if you want to be more consistent with your writing, you might use your alter ego on the days you plan to write. You might even give that alter ego a name, like Consistent Connie or Cal.
Show Up as Your Alternate Self
If you have a writing goal you want to achieve, decide what type of person would be able to get that result. That person becomes your alternate self because it is the alter ego you need to succeed.
For example, if you want to succeed at starting and finishing a 30-day writing challenge, you might choose the alter ego of Self-integral Sallie or Sam. Why? Because someone who is self-integral keeps their promises to themselves. This alter ego will help you keep your promise to yourself to write every day for a month and complete a book manuscript in that amount of time.
Then, write down all the characteristics of that alter ego—what this person looks and dresses like, how they behave and speak, how they carry themselves and deal with others, and their habits and mindsets. When it comes time to be that alter ego, take on all their characteristics. For example, become Self-integral Sallie or Sam.
When you no longer need your alter ego, drop it. Put the alter ego away and return to your “normal” identity.
Why Bother with an Alter Ego?
So why bother with an alter ego? It can be a practical first step toward changing your identity. Each time you don the characteristics of your alter ego, you get to practice being that type of person or writer.
After a while, being your alter ego becomes habitual. You might even discover you have become that type of person. Or, at the least, you are that person in the situations where it is appropriate. For example, each day you promised yourself to write, you wake up and tell yourself that you are Self-Integral Sallie or Sam. You think and behave in alignment with that alternative self.
So, while I don’t believe an alter ego changes your identity per se, it will allow you to choose who to be in certain situations—like when writing. However, your choice of identity crosses the lines of all life arenas.
For example, if you choose to be a committed person, you will be committed in relationships, in your writing career, with your health, and in your habits. Even Self-Integral Sallie or Sam will be committed because you are a committed person.
Your Alter Ego Helps You Write
If you want to be a successful nonfiction writer or author, an alter ego also can help achieve that goal. After all, if you need to be a particular type of person to do the things necessary to have what you desire, your alter ego is just the ticket!
You change energetically as you take on your alter ego. This is especially true if you show up how you would every day once your dreams have become a reality. So the more often you put out that vibration, the higher the chances of creating your desires. This is the basic premise behind the Law of Attraction.
Create an alter ego that is a version of yourself that already has your writing and publishing dreams realized. Then, show up as that person—someone no longer worried about not having your dreams come true but who knows they have already come true. Live into that reality.
Even better…become that person. Be a person who has already realized your dreams of authorship. Choose that identity.
How to Create Your Alter Ego
If you’d like to create an alter ego to help you move toward your nonfiction writing and publishing dreams, here are a few tips.
First, visualize the person you know you need to be to accomplish your goals or manifest your dreams.
Next, compose a description of that alternate self. You can use the following questions to help you uncover the details.
- What do you do each day when you wake up?
- How do you spend your time?
- How do you handle or spend your money?
- Who are your friends or with whom do you spend time?
- How do you behave or interact with people?
- What do you do in your free time?
- What do you believe?
- What are your values?
- How do you eat or exercise?
- How do you feel?
- How do you talk to yourself?
- What do you think?
- What are your habits?
- What are your strong points?
Finally, when your alter ego description is complete, read it three times a day. In particular, read it before you do anything requiring you to show up as that alter ego to succeed. For instance, read your Self-Integral Sallie or Sam description before you go into your home office to write. Then you might reread it before you go to sleep or upon waking up. You might also read it any time you find yourself procrastinating or resisting writing.
If you find yourself not being your alter ego when you most need to be, ask yourself what Self-Integral Sallie or Sam (or whatever name you give your alter ego) would do in a similar situation. Then imagine you are your alter ego. Be that self.
Using an alter ego can prove enormously helpful. It’s a significant first step to a new identity–situationally or in all life arenas.
If you have questions about developing an alter ego or a new identity that helps you succeed, join the Inspired Creator Community. That’s where I share more advanced concepts on these topics.
Have you ever used an alter ego to achieve a specific goal? Tell me about your experience in a comment below. And please share this post on social media or with a writing friend.
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