It’s Not About Me

One of the first and most important lessons I learned about technical writing is that there is no room for ego. Simply put, you cannot get good feedback for your writing— and thus have a chance to improve it— if your beta-readers are afraid you’re going to get all butt-hurt about it.

I have never sought fame or celebrity or anything other than common respect (and a decent paycheck) for my writing. That drive—to be renowned, to be a Big Name Author—has always seemed to me to be all about ego. That’s not a comfortable place for me.

For the same reasons, I don’t get all googly about my favorite authors, either. I just buy their stuff, and recommend it to others, and do my little part towards that decent paycheck.

On rare occasions I’ll be asked to prepare a piece of writing for a non-employment reason— a newsletter article, for example, or this Confabulator Cafe blog— and if I feel up to it and it’s for a cause I want to advance, I’ll do it. Because it’s not about me, or my ego.


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