True Writer, Egotist, Asshole...Which Are You On Social Media
Are You A True Writer, Egotist, or Just Plain Asshole By Robert Bacal
Through the semi-miracle of social media, anyone can put words down, and distribute them -- in essence doing what only published writers could do previously.
It's a relatively good thing, but it begs the question of whether you are a "writer" in any sense beyond stringing words together, or you are something else entirely.
The true writer exhibits a number of characteristics. There ARE exceptions to all of these characteristics among professional writers, or writers of great wit.
The "true writer":
- Feels the NEED to write. It's part of him or her, and is constantly thinking in terms of what an experience means, and how it can be transformed into words for others to experience, or benefit from.
- Writes with the perspective of the reader always in mind. If something doesn't enlighten, teach, entertain, or otherwise add value for the reader, it doesn't get into an article.
- Usually writes in the third person, although this is changing. The reasoning is that writing in the first person focuses the reader on the writer, rather than the content, the idea, the story, or what can be learned. It's interesting that writing in the first person is the primary way that young children write.
The main difference between the true writer and the egotist has to do with who the article or story is "for". For example:
- Usually writes in the first person, since for the egotist s/he is the most interesting person, more interesting than the story, or the reader.
- Writes to project an image of him/herself often heavily edited and modified from what others might think of them. Again, it's about appearing to be [whatever]. It's not uncommon for the egotist "writer" to be completely unaware of this kind of image projection in his or her writing.
- Has a tendency to include elements that are not properly explained so the only person who fully understands the referents is the writer. Readers won't. Same deal with private jokes only the writer understands.
- Attempts at humor that fail are often part of the schemata. The egotist, not able to put him/herself in the place where the reader sits, assumes that what is funny to the writer, will be funny to the reader. It's kind of a loser's game. Humor is so personal.
- Writes to impress. One of the more serious symptoms.