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Monday, 23 August 2010

On Being Bumptious


I read a 'How To' book, bought secondhand a few years ago: ‘How to Write a Block Buster and Make Millions’ by Sarah Harrison that suggested that agents and publishers like bumptious authors. That comment stuck in my mind like a bookmarked page ever since.

    It’s fair to say, however, that most people actually seem to find such an attitude off-putting. Such apparent brashness being cautiously viewed as showing false modesty or lack of humility. It’s like treading a fine line between being positive and being boastful, I guess.

   For my part, the idea that others might not like what I’ve written is a truly terrifying, unpleasant prospect and one I know I share with many an aspiring author. Fear of criticism, failure and rejection all crowd around, nodding sagely. However, I try my best to rise above such dissenting voices. I try to be proud of my literary offspring and let my enthusiasm flourish.

I write because I love to write and I want others to enjoy what I write, too. Doesn’t everyone?

They say laughter is the best tonic…

            One of my writing group contemporaries and I decided that we should set up a self-help group called The Delusions Of Grandeur Club.

               Then it occurred to us that our husbands would have to start their own support group Spouses of the DGC. Suddenly I realised that maybe they’d already done so and I suggested:

 “What if they’re texting or emailing one another this very minute with the words: ‘She thinks she’s written another masterpiece, again!

… We laughed until we cried. I guess if we can see the funny side we can’t be all that bumptious after all!


So do you think authors should be bumptious ?

Epilogue: Bumptious authors = believe in yourself 100% and share your passion thus communicating your belief in your writing to others.

2 comments:

  1. Bumptious is a lovely word! In my experience (vast, obviously!) many writers are very self-criticial. A dose of bumptiousness can't do any harm, can it? We need a bit of courage even to send out our work for others to scrutinise/shred/ridule. Hang onto your enthusiasm! It's a real asset.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Joanne, yes you are absolutely correct.
    Yes bumptious sounds much more bubbly and fun than its definition. LOL!
    Madeleine x

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