I was looking through the articles on books in the Guardian newspaper, finding this interesting piece in the archive about writers and vanity, written by Julian Baggini, a British philosopher.
(some great stories on writing beneath this article, and do read the comments section)
One of the first pieces of advice that I’d give to anyone considering writing a book, is to develop a hide as thick as a rhinoceros. Everyone thinks that they’ve got a book inside them, but nobody considers what will happen when the book is released into the wild!
Being an author is setting yourself up as a target for criticism and rejection. These brickbats will come from complete strangers, friends, family, readers, publishers, book-sellers and critics. That’s if they say anything at all, for being completely ignored is the usual fate of a freshly published book. This is why writers welcome adverse criticism, as at least it means that someone has noticed you.
Ego and self-confidence aren’t the same thing. We have to believe that we can write a story, or it simply won’t exist. As Rumi observed:
Being over-egotistical is a sure way of suffocating any talent that one may have. Talent needs cold and clear objectivity to be honed until it’s sharp and bright.
How do you deal with self-confidence, ego, arrogance, hubris, self-belief and vanity?