Wednesday, 18 December 2013


There's some warped idea going around that anything "prideful" is bad. I have never subscribed to that and I won't, because I think the word itself is overused, and quite often as an accusation, either by those who are envious of ability, or who don't understand what's going on.

Of course, there is no doubt that sometimes pride does get in the way. How many times have you known a person to make a silly mistake and refuse to acknowledge it? That's pride, for sure.

But being proud of your own abilities? For pity's sake there is nothing more tedious than false modesty.

Recently I took part in the Nano writing event. I had never done it before because I could see a huge downside to it, but my pride caused me to get talked into it. This is a fact. I was pretty much dared. "Bet you can't write a book in a month." Well, I couldn't ignore that., Of course I can, I thought, I'll show them.

Of course I could. It's easy. You divide 50,000 by 30, which is just over 1600 words a day. I can do twice that before breakfast, so I did, and I finished it well ahead of schedule.

And it's complete rubbish. It's so bad that my pride would not let me put my name to it. Nobody will see it. It's crap. It cannot be saved because the premise was far too thin, I really didn't have anything interesting to say, and the only way to make it more interesting would be to add a LOT of very descriptive stuff about the scenery, making it half travelogue, and descriptive stuff is NOT my forté.

I know what I'm good at and what I'm not. This is a mixture of pride and realism.

However, there was one section I was really pleased with, a long monologue by one of the characters, which, with a very small amount of effort to change a word here and there, I can use in a different story that is working, and will get done in due course. Not rushed out like pulp fiction.

So it wasn't a complete waste of time. Plus, it proved what I had always thought, I'm only a good writer when the muse takes me. I really can't do it on demand.

But you know, I do have faith that I'm a good writer. And I do want to get something published. And because I have pride in my work I will wait patiently until I have something worth publishing.

As it is, there are plenty of actually very good books in the remainder bins. How sad is that. The world is saturated with good writing, just as it is with good musicianship, good artists, and so on. There is no use for a poor quality book, and I am not going to have a piece of junk "out there" with my name on it.

This is pride. So be it.

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