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Blog of the Week > Are writers ego-maniacs?

Are writers ego-maniacs?

Writers want people to read their work. They expect people to read their work; this is only natural. Love it or hate it, but I have something to say and a way to share it. Editors write Op-Ed columns in their newspapers, and talking heads on television fill a hundred networks with babble, twenty four hours a day. Sometimes the more outrageous the commentary, the greater the celebrity. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly come to mind. (I refuse to accept that O'Reilly can possibly be even a distant relative. Just unthinkable.) Yet most writers feel what they have to say is worth reading; perhaps they all do. Whether their words are well-received or mocked is just a question of taste. The only negative that hurts a writer is to be ignored by the reading public.

So, as to writers being ego-maniacs... Well, there might be something in that after all. A writer can stay home and remain quiet and never attract the lightning bolt that may just find you if you keep holding up the lightning rod of public speaking. Yet like little Ben Franklins, writers keep sending up their kites with keys attached to the tail, and invite the lightning to strike.

So what drives them to do it? I think it begins with an insatiable curiosity about the world and the human drama enacted on its canvas. A desire to understand what is going on. The product of meditation is weighed and filtered and ever distilled to arrive at some theories. Theories - not conclusions - for such a mind is always open to new information that might change everything. And once having produced a mosaic, the need to share this precious, unique and often time-sensitive material is almost irresistible. Journals are filled with such stuff. A few had access to the mass media - newspapers, magazines, radio, movie newsreels and finally television.

But now, with the rise of the internet, people have direct access to the world at large. My Space, You Tube, chat rooms and IM and blogs without count. Millions of flowers available for plucking, some small or sour or hiding a thorn, but so many more that are worthy of our time and attention.

It truly is a new millennium.

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