Friday, October 8, 2010


Over at the DGLM blog, Miriam Goderich shares Hunter S. Thompson’s job application to the Vancouver Sun.

Hunter was the master of bravado, certain to himself that he was better than every other writer out there. Now, we all know Hunter was a bit off center, but he could back up his claims by writing amazing stories. Everything he did was intended to move the reader. Be it sports coverage or political manifestos, the reader felt. And isn't that the point of writing?

It got me thinking about confidence, and in particular, over-confidence. There's a fine line between bravado and cockiness. It's not a straight, solid line. For each of us, that line is in a different place. What one person sees as swagger, another may see as arrogance. What may be machismo to me, is insolence to you.

Personally, like most writers, I struggle with lack of confidence at times, and at other times, I find myself over-blown with a sense of self. I see some writers who I think I can write circles around getting book deals, and I think, "Has the publishing world gone mad?" Then there are times (especially after a particularly painful rejection) that I wonder if I should hang up the keyboard and find a job where my only creative input is which brush to use to clean the toilet bowl.

My questions to you, fellow writers and readers, is where to you fall on the ego spectrum? Do you try to keep your arrogance in check, or do you put yourself out there no matter the perception? Are you turned off by writers who think they can (and should) share their gift with humanity? Does cockiness help or hurt in the publishing universe?