July 1, 2010

Character Traits of a Writer

You know, one of the best character flaws to have as a writer is pigheadedness. You hear everywhere that we need to be dedicated, to not give up. That’s where stubbornness comes in handy. Got a rejection? Water off a duck’s back. Got an acceptance. Cool, big celebration, but then move on.

There’s this weird combination of attributes you need to have. You have to have this sort of hubris, this unreasonable optimism in the face of (what others might see as) defeat ~ or, let’s say, setbacks. Hehe.

You also have to have the seemingly contradictory attribute of humility, so that you can take criticism and improve and realize that the reason that you’re not yet published may be due, partly, because you just aren’t good enough yet.

Egoism is in there somewhere too. You have an overwhelming need to lay your soul bare for all the world to see, in hopes that someone somewhere will say, "I like it."

It’s harder to get published than it is to do many many other things in life. It’s harder to find an agent and/or a publisher than it is to find someone to marry, and that’s saying something.

Hardy souls, go forth, be creative, be obstinate, be egotistical, be humble ~ above all else, keep at it.

What I’m Reading Today: More Scribner’s Anthology.

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