This is turning into a regular topic for me. Clearly it’s something that’s on my mind a lot. But this time, instead of drowning you with my own ramblings, I’m going to subject you to the (at least slightly) more ordered thoughts of others.
J.A.Conrath has written a typically blithe and cheeky post on writers self-esteem over on his blog, called ‘I’m Better than You‘. He says:
I’m a much better writer than you are. Sure, I know that taste is subjective. But if we could wave a magic wand and strip away personal taste and bias, leaving only the raw, core elements of what makes writing good, everyone would know the truth: That I’m the greatest writer to ever live.
But don’t be fooled by his humility. Just make sure you finish reading the post, otherwise you’ll miss the punch line. His posts have a wonderful way of making you laugh at yourself, while also being grounded and genuine and giving some of the best advice when it comes to surviving this industry. His was the first blog I started reading as a new writer, and I still check in regularly.
Then Alan Rinzler, a consulting editor and past therapist, blogged about ‘How successful writers keep up their confidence‘. He comments that:
The most accomplished and productive writers I work with are able to sustain a level of assurance and optimism. And that’s even when they’re feeling blocked, burned out, and unappreciated. It’s admirable and a little amazing they’re able to do this, since there’s so much hard work and delayed gratification in writing a book.
He goes on to list a number of excellent tips on keeping up your confidence, including my personal favourite: Embrace irrational exuberance and obsessive compulsions. I have this one down pat. Although I am mildly disappointed he did not include my own favourite method of fighting off the blues (chocolate consumption).
So, now that we have enough self-esteem to inflate a small planet, what are we going to do tonight? The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world. Cue evil laugh.
(And for Non-Pinky and the Brain fans, just ignore me)