I can forgive ego if its vastness is commensurate to one’s talent. But I just cannot put up with aspiring writers who display such arrogance when their work is simply crappy.
Is it the air that we’re breathing over here? Or could it be the soda overload? Whatever it is, more and more people in this industry I am in are blatantly displaying this false sense of excellence (thanks to JF for the phrase). And it’s horrible. It scares me that one day I could be like them too. It’s a battle I fight every day.
I am starting to feel like a grown-up Holden Caulfield, sizing up people, separating the real ones from the poseurs. And I hate it. At my age, I should be just happily editing and writing, not picking battles with writers whose egos are about the size of Mars but whose talent is as minute as the point of a pen.
Which is why I miss Global Sources, with its editors and writers who provided brilliant conversations; where everyday goals were simply about delivering quality articles that made the grade; where we argued endlessly about grammar and style (and laughed about how nerdy we were); where people had more respect for fellow writers and editors; where you could be blown away by how talented people were yet how humble they could be.
I’ve never had someone give me this attitude back at Global Sources. In fact, take out one or who people who were full of themselves but were nevertheless brilliant, it was a quiet group of people who enjoyed drinking once a year (every December) and had respect for each other. I’ve never seen anyone throw her weight around because she thought she was the best in the crop.
I am more blown away by the attitude of someone who claims to be creative writer yet cannot even get her tenses right or her subjects and verbs to agree. (Is an institution whose name ends in s considered plural, for one? Is that a new rule that someone made up while I was sleeping?)
My running conversation with JF has been like this: “Were we like that when we were 22?” Because I don’t remember having displayed such arrogance in the face of criticism. We learned to take them in stride and worked on improving our craft. And we certainly didn’t claim to be writers, because back then, we didn’t even think we were worthy of the tag.
But this crop of aspiring writers–full of arrogance yet not having proven themselves yet. It would give Sam Dixon a heart attack!