Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#1
First time ever using this topic. Thought I'd add something that a lot of people can probably relate to: the arrogant writer(s). 

I'm actually not coming up with this from a very recent incident, though, I have experienced people of the sort across multiple sites over a period of years. 

My definition of an arrogant writer differs from an arrogant person in general: someone who persistently sees themselves as a better writer than most, with an overwhelming desire to prove it to others, even if that means making them look worse. A person that refuses to admit they're wrong or capable of error. And someone that always tries to one-up another writer or writing critic. (Anyone that uses the word whom, too. COUGH XD)

Jokes aside, typically, when I see something like this, they have a college background of some sort in either writing itself or the topic they're writing about, although there are exceptions, of course. So it leads to this: "I am well-versed in this topic, I have major in English literature and run a creative writing workshop." (A paraphrase of something I read on Wattpad when I said the comma goes inside the dialogue and that it was okay to start sentences in fiction with "And").

I don't believe all college-educated people are like this; but they do exist, unfortunately. 

Another type is someone who writes something like this: "I think the whole thing is bland (referring to someone else's work) and needs a complete rewrite if you ever want it to go somewhere. I'm just being honest, not harsh (Oh, this); your work lacks [a good story, good characters, good anything, the word "whom", and all sorts of other things that I prefer, don't mind what anyone else is saying; only my opinion matters]. It's just awful." (Usually reads the first chapter out of 25).

This leads me to my final type (I know there are more): the writer that believes they know more about an author's story than the author himself/herself. We've all met this person, don't lie. The writing critic that tells you how to write your own story. This is different from constructive criticism, mind you; they normally have incredibly large wants from a story. Example: "I think the story is all wrong. This scene should come first and then you should write a five-chapter lead-up to how this became so. You should also change the name of story entirely; I think "This" sounds better and fits it better. The MC should go into the woods and find the killer as opposed to running. And then you can have his friends come save him . . ." I could go on. Granted: you could write this one off as a passionate reader . . . as long as they read the whole thing. 

I honestly believe writer's arrogance ends after they realise that they weren't blessed with the eyes of Stephen King (he wears glasses, duh. It's his glasses that make him so good). Usually, their writing skills are not excellent or terrible, somewhere dead in the middle; they can follow all the writing rules but bore you half to death. Or vice versa. Or something else. It's rudeness that Royal Road and any writing site needs to banish. We don't need people trying to prove themselves the whole time, or down others in the process. And if you are one of those people—lol, how are you?

Writers are inherently somewhat arrogant (just a teeny bit); we'd have to be to get good, and that's likely the case with everything. It soon dies out, and we become these creatures wondering why on Earth we began in the first place. 

The typical arrogant writer isn't like this; not in front of others anyway. 

All from my experience. 

What are your thoughts on arrogant writers? How do you deal with them? What do you consider arrogance in writers? Don't you hate the word whom, as well? XD Share your experiences if you'd like. 

peoapproval


Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#2
Tbh I don’t know that people are so easily categorized. From my experience, there is a lot of pretension in many writing spaces and it can sometimes feel like there is an underlying contest in oneupmanship going on. 

I would personally have trouble drawing a line between so-called arrogant writers and other, maybe misguided, people.  

I think you just gotta let it roll off your back like anything else. It’s easy for opinions to clash and feelings to get hurt when you’re putting yourself out there in a creative pursuit like writing, and it won’t just be arrogant writers who do these things. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#5

I Wrote: Well, everyone can be a writer and everyone can be an artist. I've spent some time moping in the "no talent" zone of things, and one thing I found out is that talent is't really a huge factor in these things. As long as you have the drive and are willing to strive to be better than you are, you will get better...

You hit the nail right on the head and I love this sentiment! This is such a huge thing that people like to ignore because it's convenient. I used to do it myself too honestly. If you aren't born highly talented then it isn't your fault if you don't achieve anything, right? It's not your fault then, right? Yeah. It's the world. The universe. It isn't you. It's everything else. Everyone else. It's not my fault I'm not talented, so why work? It's not my fault I'm not as attractive as that other person, so why care about my body?


The truth is it doesn't matter if you were born a prodigy or not. Smart. Attractive. Talented. Gifted. Whatever it is. Put in the hours every day. Sit down and write. Sit down and draw. Sit down and play guitar. Run. Workout. Meditate. Try. Try. You need to try every day. Whatever your thing is, go do it. Quantity has a quality all to itself and if you do it every day you will achieve something substantial in the end. Something more than you would have had if you had continued to mope and stay idle, asleep. It might take a long time, it might be a grind. You might feel sad along the way. But that's the cosmic deal. Put in the hours, put in the spirit, fix your path before you end up where you were going.
   peoapproval


ALostTerrapin Wrote: Tbh I don’t know that people are so easily categorized. From my experience, there is a lot of pretension in many writing spaces and it can sometimes feel like there is an underlying contest in oneupmanship going on. 

I would personally have trouble drawing a line between so-called arrogant writers and other, maybe misguided, people.  

I think you just gotta let it roll off your back like anything else. It’s easy for opinions to clash and feelings to get hurt when you’re putting yourself out there in a creative pursuit like writing, and it won’t just be arrogant writers who do these things.



I feel this. The one-upping can be brutal. There is so much cut-throadedness and I don't understand why. Writers, readers. Everybody is subject to it. People have their reasons to say something mean so that makes us say something mean in defense because we feel justifed. We're fueling the cycle in the end though. It's so important to want to stop that. Help the next man up. Be kind to other writers and readers, even if they aren't to you and it's hard, man. It's hard if someone leaves a 0.5 on your biggest project ever for no reason. It's hard. But what good will being sad do you? Being mean? Shrug it off. Understand that that person has their reasons whether its hurt, or hate, or jealousy or maybe they just honestly don't like the work.

Shrug it off, be kind. Help the next man up and be willing to take the hand reaching down to you.
peolove

(Note: I'm just an idiot who listens to too many esoteric podcasts lol)

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#6
Mm, I did see something like that semi-recently, probably the most arrogant writer I've come across who liked to boast about their writing education and seemed to think they were god's gift to man.

That said I think a certain amount of arrogance is actually beneficial to a writer, it's a good barrier for protecting your writing motivation against people who seem to have more interest in being cutting than being constructive. 

The trick is moderation of the arrogance.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#7
Yes, I've seen this sort of behavior not only in writing, but in plenty of other fields as well. There are many reasons people act this way, arrogance being one of them. It's human nature to want to be admired and some people will overcompensate to get that admiration. Are there arrogant writers? Oh yes. However, there are also writers who are unsure of themselves and use this kind of behavior as a shield. I would echo @ALostTerrapin's comment that people aren't so easily categorized. 

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#9
I've come across them plenty over the years.

One of the old forums I used to frequent in, usually ever couple of months we could get a college student who would try to wow us with their knowledge. They would use big words to impress, but it made their posts difficult to read because you questioned their word choice. They would condemn everything that wasn't literary. Have criticisms of genre fiction, but had no knowledge of actual genre fiction past what their professor generalized.

I figured they assumed we were nothing more than impersonate 16-year-olds fan-fic writers. It was a mixed group with maybe the youngest being 17 and the oldest in his 40s at the time. But these new try hard would last in the community for about a two-week period and then vanish.

At this point, I ignore them. Especially the ones who wish to re-write the story for you into their vision. They would make for terrible editors.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#10
I don't tend to look at critique as some sort of whip to chastise newbie writers with. I look at critique as (A.) A great way to garner overall opinion on a tale (everyone has an opinion, I think), and (B.) An aid to polishing a work. Preening work takes time and many eyes shorten the time it requires. It is also a mirror that reflects how well what I want the reader to get, actually arrives intact to the reader. Many times changes get made just to bridge this gap - a clarity issue. Nothing is  "well Writ" if it is not understood by the reader. I assume some people have better grammar than I do,  more consistent spelling, may be better at architecture and design, cooking, Et. Al. I am neither jealous of this, nor surprised. When it is communicated to me I prize it, as I can use it to expand and improve my texts. I win. I also however, do not expect every opinion to be better than my own, or to match the general consensus of my readership. I filter everything (for better or worse) in terms of its ability to increase reader acceptance overall, and my own time management issues, because, well, life.  Go figure.  The last thing on my mind is the personal quirks some specific person might have, or forming opinions about these folks who are taking the time to try and be helpful. Of course that is just my own way of working and looking at things.

Some people have better vocabularies , are taller, better at tennis, more or less sure of themselves, are amazing to chat with, or are maybe more droll in my view. Meh. Doesn't make them better or less better people, just different people. If I've any opinion at all, it would be that diversity is a good thing, people interesting.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#11
Personally, I'm an arrogant person. I mean, why wouldn't I be? I'm a god amongst men and I write only the most beautiful of prose. Just look at this witty sentence that I'm currently writing, it's so grammatically sound and efficient. So why can't I be arrogant?

On the real though, I think there are just some people who tend to be a bit more full of themselves than others, and that's perfectly fine. It all, in my honest opinion, boils down to personality and ones belief in oneself and their works. Some of us need a layer of brusque arrogance to help us filter and guard against some of the tougher pills to swallow. Getting critique, even when it's fair and honest and nice, isn't the easiest thing to accept and learn from. Add on top of that the proclivity of internet denizens to tear apart someone else's work for absolutely no reason other than because they can and you have more than enough reason for someone to use arrogance as a defense mechanism.

Now, I'm not defending those authors who are complete dicks just because they've accrued a modicum of a following. I'm really just offering another side to it, the side where even smaller authors with much smaller followings can come off as arrogant because it is a learned defense mechanism. Getting comments and feedback on a work you've put hours and hours into is a frightening thing. It's downright nerve wracking. But it's something we have to do, as authors and as people, if our goal is to grow in our craft and get better. 

I think I had more I wanted to say but I've lost my train of thought so I'm gonna end it here. lol

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#12
I assume a thick skin is something that grows naturally for an author over time, unless they get depressed and run away.  Writers start off oversensitive and defiant, then slowly come to the understanding of "Oh, this is a good thing. That saves me time.  I can use this. and all all of that other stuff tells me about other people's reading habits." 

I don't think its arrogance so much as fear.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#13

FAHyatt Wrote: I assume a thick skin is something that grows naturally for an author over time, unless they get depressed and run away.  Writers start off oversensitive and defiant, then slowly come to the understanding of "Oh, this is a good thing. That saves me time.  I can use this. and all all of that other stuff tells me about other people's reading habits." 

I don't think its arrogance so much as fear.

Thanks for your input!

I honestly agree with all of that; it tends to be something, I won't say new writers, but people that aren't used to being criticised, endure. And then thick skin develops over a period of however long. 

peoapproval

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#14
As someone who's been to university and has been known to use the word 'whom' upon occasion, I feel personally attacked. XD

Humility is a valuable life skill, absolutely, and it can be a tough one to learn depending on the person. I do think most people find their way there in the end. When we start targeting particular demographics, however, that's when we start to veer into dangerous territory. I'm with Parker and Terrapin on this one in that people are complicated and multi-faceted, and not so easily put into boxes.

Arrogance does rub me the wrong way, but it also works both ways. And so I try to make it a practice to extend people the benefit of the doubt.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#16
Csuite Wrote: As someone who's been to university and has been known to use the word 'whom' upon occasion, I feel personally attacked. XD

Humility is a valuable life skill, absolutely, and it can be a tough one to learn depending on the person. I do think most people find their way there in the end. When we start targeting particular demographics, however, that's when we start to veer into dangerous territory. I'm with Parker and Terrapin on this one in that people are complicated and multi-faceted, and not so easily put into boxes.

Arrogance does rub me the wrong way, but it also works both ways. And so I try to make it a practice to extend people the benefit of the doubt.

It's ironic because I've used whom at least 3 times in my new book as well as having it on my bio. XD

Thanks for the input, Csuite!

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#18
I think it's more of a personality flaw in general. Insecure or otherwise unhappy people latch onto certain traits they have (it can even be an unearned trait they were born with) and then try to lord their differences over other people, I assume, in order to make themselves feel less awful. Quite the miserable existence.

People just love to feel better than each other, and if other people lack certain traits or skills that you have? Easiest way to feel like you are a better person than them! Clearly if they were as good as me, they'd also have exactly the same traits and skills I do! The fact that they don't, or *gasp* chose differently to me is proof I'm better! Maybe it's like people whose entire personality is their clothes, what music they listen to or what sport they play. That's all they have to be proud of?

There's this sort of non-talked about chuuni-esque theme that spreads at university called "first semester syndrome", where people get their first taste of academia and go off the deep end thinking they are enlightened and intelligent, and everyone else is stupid. Usually they grow out of it or flunk first year, and the rest of the student body gets over themselves.

It's fun to feel better than people, but I do have the 24hr regret window where the cringe worms its way through the thick, gooey morass of undeserved smugness. That's the one that really stings.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#19
I might want to distinguish between arrogance and pretentiousness. An arrogant person has an inflated sense of self-worth, but at least it's potentially based on a kernel of earned confidence. Meanwhile, pretentiousness is just a bluff.

Though I find arrogance a bit annoying, it's inevitable when you're dealing with other people -- especially when dealing with interesting people.

But I think pretentiousness is nauseating. When it comes to pretentious people, I don't have any other option than to be cruel, or pull rank, or exit. I can do all those things, but I'd rather not have to do any of those things.

Re: Thoughts on Writer's Arrogance? (Rant fuel)

#20
i had one of those. a story he wrote was actually pretty interesting and i read further. then one day the MC made some stupid mistake and i read the comments to see how the others reacted to it. there were none just guys who would say the normal "great job" etc. so i made a comment on it. every few chapters i would comment on some stuff speculating what would happen with this or that decision etc. a week later i log in and i see almost 95% of my comments were deleted haha and a lot of others are complaining about the author becauuse he deletes every comment he didnt like like a child.