Sunday, January 30, 2011

on Arrogance, Greed, and the Reasons We Make Art

I love capital letters. One of my all-time favorite authors, Jane Austen, used them incorrectly and in excess. They successfully place ones tongue firmly in ones cheek. So when I say Arrogance, I mean it with the capital 'A'. As in 'nobody does it better than I and here I sit on my mighty highchair pronouncing judgment on all of you' Arrogance. I.E., the king of the dump is feeling mightier than his other vagrant friends.

And Greed. I write, currently, in a small pocket of a fan base. We aren't making the New York Times Bestseller list anytime soon, are we? We aren't talking bazillions of fan dollars. Snarling and worrying over a few hundred, or even a thousand, purchases more or less makes us small and mean.

Man makes art for no good reason, evolutionarily speaking. (Evolutionarily? :) Oh, dear.) Obviously, there is a certain amount of ego involved. We slave away and see others (perhaps) getting praise for work we might not like and we feel??? offended??? outraged??? We forget that EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT TASTES and we get on some high horse and freak out. Writing is insecure and lonely and scary. And we all worry about money. And then there is the Love factor. It's hard to work in isolation and get no Lurve all day. It makes you nuts.

But, I'm lucky, in that my 'day job' is a creative one. I get feedback. I get praise. I get smacked upside the head and I've learned to appreciate that feedback as well because it makes me better at what I do. I observe, every day, how hard it is for creative people to praise other creative people. How difficult it is to accept that someone else might take a concept and use it differently. We are Opinionated. We Care. We are Outraged at Incompetence. lol We are Arrogant and Greedy and have to smack ourselves periodically because truthfully, humility makes us better artists.

Sadly, I don't see as much of that being learned by writers. I am painfully aware of the emotions and feelings that writers suffer. Hey, I'm not immune. But I hope I have learned something from working in Animation. Arrogance and Greed. God save me from it. I mean that. If I ever have an 'off' day and I put down other authors, or set myself up as some kind of standard (trust me, this won't happen anytime soon, but if it does) smack me upside the head and make me go read Thomas Hardy. Remind me to be humble.

Okay. Done. Going off to read some old school BDSM that teddypig recommended.


  1. Interestingly, the better writers I know are the most humble and the, um, not so stellar are the most obnoxiously arrogant.

  2. I like to focus on the writers I enjoy reading and try to simply avoid the ones I don't. I try REALLY HARD not to get into the good writer/bad writer way of thinking because it's a slippery slope.

    I've seen writers I enjoy behaving like asshats online, though. Sadly. Nobody is immune to hubris and all it's faults.

    Including the hubris of moral superiority lol.

  3. Hi AM:
    I write.
    I love.
    I laugh.
    I cry.
    I AM.
    Thinking of you.

    Call me sometime...maybe soon.

    Greetings and love from
    aka Sharon

  4. TQotM?? DUDE!!! How are you? Where's my Mercedes you liar?

    I will.