I have a terrible ego as a writer. It’s quite awful. Or maybe it’s just that I’m competitive. Or perhaps they feed each other, which is most likely. I’ll admit it; I tend to think highly of myself when it comes to writing. I’m not saying it’s deserved. In fact it’s likely not given the pace at which I write (a snail moves more quickly) and the lack of discipline I practice “for my craft” (read: almost none).
Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I am a highly, *highly* critical reader. It’s tough for me to figure out how the two tie together really, as sometimes I’ll read something and simply think “ugh, that’s crap” and other times I’ll think “ugh, that’s crap, I could write better than that!” This is not to say I hate everything, though my book club would probably argue that point. When I love something I unabashedly LOVE it. There is not a whole lot of middle ground for me, though those books do exist.
For someone so critical and with a strong ego I am glad to say that rejection of my own work rarely bothers me, at least not in a sad way. It may anger me – absolutely. Ask me for my feedback and then not respond or completely ignore every piece of it and I quietly seethe. But I don’t think I’ve ever felt a personal sense of failure when one of my stories gets rejected. I don’t think I’m doomed never to be published, nor does it make me think my writing is crap. It just makes me shrug and move on. You’d think the opposite would be true.
I’ve thought about this a lot, as you may be able to tell. I have spent a fair amount of time wondering why certain things bother me and other things don’t, and as far as I can tell it’s simply because I must not want it that badly. I must not want to be a published/famous/well-regarded author as much as other people do or rejection of my attempts would mean more and have more impact.