Daily Archives: July 19, 2010

Seven Writing Sins: Pride

I’ve backed up more miles than you’ve driven forward.

This is one of my DH’s favorite phrases.  Admittedly, he’s put in his time behind the wheel.  However, the other day he did something while driving that almost made me wet myself. 

We were driving by my house (business, not separate residence) to see how the new floor was coming along.  The flooring guys were on the front porch cutting a piece of subfloor.  DH rubbernecked to the point that he ran into the curb. 

Note to self: driving tons of miles doth not mean perfection behind the wheel.


Riding in the passenger seat with envy is pride.  Often, we justify our lack of perfection in one area by boasting about our abilities in another.  Even if we keep our boasts to ourselves, they can be just as damaging when it comes to writing.

  1. Do not read a book and say, “If Author Moron Badwriter got published so can I.”  Obviously AMB has worked hard at doing something right, and the only way we can follow in his footsteps is to also do something right.  Like write a good book.
  2. Do not read a book and say, “Author Moron Badwriter’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Book sold through, therefore my novel will need a double print run.”  The market is fickle.  What appeals to some will not appeal to others.  The more we brag, the harder it will be when we don’t succeed.
  3. Do not read a book and proclaim your writing better.  While you may be right, this does not automatically induct you into the published crowd.  There is sooooo much that goes into the publication of a book that “better writing” may not always win out. 
  4. Don’t forget that publishing is full of variables.  Writing, market, reader tastes, movie trends, moral shifts, moons aligning, rubbernecking…. 

When we get sidetracked from our goal by checking out the scenery (comparing our work to others and deeming it superior), we are in serious danger of hitting the curb.

Note to writers: agents and editors hate writers who are full of themselves.  Confident, yes.  Prideful, no.  At least that’s what I’ve been hearing around town.

What kinds of things make you feel prideful in your work?  What kinds of things humble you?  Have you ever hit the curb?  If so, how did you get back on track?