Making the rounds today, I popped over to JA Konrath's blog where he had a post about pride. Joe always manages to say something interesting. I loved this snippet:
While no one likes a braggart or a boaster, and being around someone who talks about themselves constantly is a major bore, I believe that many writers became writers because of a need to show off. After all, it takes a large ego to write words down on paper and believe that others will not only enjoy them, but pay you for the privilege of reading them.
I'd never quite thought about it that way. Do I have a big ego? Do I write because I want to show off? It's possible, sure. I bet there are a lot of people who will object. Who will say, “No, I write because I love it” or “I write because I can't do anything else” or “I write for me.”
Well, I can't do anything else either. Believe me, I've tried. I don't enjoy the elses and I'd really, really prefer someone pay me to write so I can do it exclusively.
I also write because I love it and I write to entertain myself. But I damn sure want the check and I want other people to read what I write and to want more of it.
It's funny how this post got me to thinking about being a show off. I'm an introvert, like many writers, and yet I absolutely love it when I do something well and someone compliments me on it. I was fiercely competitive in my academic career — not against others, but simply against myself. I had to get the A, had to get the kudos. Life simply would not be complete (I thought) if I didn't make Phi Kappa Phi.
All the A's and honor societies in the world haven't made much of a difference in my post-academic life. But I had to have them.
So now it's writing. I really don't think of myself as having a big ego. I'm pretty easy going. I love it when my CP likes something I've written, though, and I guess there could be a big ol' monster lurking inside who believes that others will too.
Do you think it takes a large ego to write? Or does it take a large ego to want to share the writing? Is one different from the other? It's certainly something to ponder, especially for the introverts who like to stay holed up all day and can't imagine having to get dressed and go network for the sake of their words. Hmmm.