Are Writers really Narcistic?

readerMirabile Dictu has written an interesting piece about writers.  She is a writer, but she really likes to read.  (That sounds like most librarians I know-we become librarians because most of us like to read, but nowadays, our jobs have us doing so much more.)

via The Habit of Living Indoors: Are Narcissists the Best Writers?

What are you writers really like?  Do you know any?  I have met a few and they usually normal.

If you tell someone you are writing a novel (or something else), you get almost the same pat on the back that you get when you tell people you are attending college with a major in whatever.  Is it because these things are valued or because we are conditioned to tell children or anyone else that being in school is a good thing?

 

8 thoughts on “Are Writers really Narcistic?”

  1. I know many people who, like me, say that they have a story in them but don’t know how to get it out on paper. I suspect that the “pat on the back” you refer to is either an expression of envy or — if it comes from another writer — a sign of empathy. I have written poetry and have published three textbooks but never the novel or short story that is rattling around in my head, so I’ve heard and felt both reactions. As for being narcisistic (or narcistic — I just found to my surprise that the dictionary likes both), I wonder if writers don’t inevitably discover and reveal things about themselves as they write. If so, “narcisism” looks at the wrong end of the stick. Writers are introspective.

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    1. What an incredibly insightful comment. I think you may be on to something that I had never thought about. Can’t wait to read the story inside you (whether it’s Rolig’s story or her typist’s story…) I’m sure your textbooks were well re-searched, well written with lots of helpful graphics.

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  2. I can see why any creative person could be considered narcissistic – because what we do comes from inside of us and we have to believe (if we want success anyway) that someone will be interested in what we have to say. But given that doubt is also such a big part of writers’ lives, I think that proves that most of us do worry that people won’t be interested in what we have to say, therefore we can’t be narcissists 🙂

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  3. Audrey, you make an excellent point. We need to be self- aware, but hopefully not self-centered or too self-satisfied. We can always improve, but since most of us will likely never achieve perfection, when do we know if it is good enough?

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  4. Andrea and Audrey make good points. I suspect that a true narcisist is too taken by herself to be able to put herself in another person’s shoes and tell a convincing story from that person’s perspective. Also, as you note, we can always improve, but a narcisist is less likely to recognize or admit that. Could a narcisistic writer recognize what it feels like to be a flawed character?

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  5. Most excellent observation. I bet that any character that was not based upon them would have to be flawed for that single reason. I had an English teacher that used to say “It’s only conceit, if it isn’t true.” So as long as we aren’t conceited, maybe we aren’t narcissistic either. LOL

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