You’re So Vain

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.

Image result for 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:

Image result for rumi 'Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.'
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?


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