It seems to me that almost every writer is somewhat of a megalomaniac. The definition of which, at it’s simplest, is: a pathological egotist. Although I have been aware of what a megalomaniac is for many a moon, and am assuredly guilty of being one to some extent, reading such a simple and concise definition to describe the immensity of this condition tickled me to the quick. And it was most likely not defined by a writer or the definition would be much wordier.
I could now list many fine examples of well-known pathologically egotistical literary figures throughout history, in an attempt to legitimize my statement, but I won’t. My ego doesn’t require me to validate my opinions through such a gross display of a need for your concurrence. This alone should be sufficient evidence to substantiate the credibility of my initial statement.
But if so many writers are pathological egotists, why is it so?
To some extent I will delve into a bit of proletariat-bashing to explain my personal view of how extreme egoism develops within the psyches of many word-peddlers. If you find this kind of thing tiresome, negative or unappealing for some reason or another, maybe it’s best if you stop here. To me, my opinions have merit, although I am always open to the possibility that they will either change somewhat in time or evolve completely. At the time of this writing though, I happen to be exactly where I am in my personal evolution, and choosing to share the process of my metacognitions through writing is the only way for me to express myself entirely and with accuracy. Perks of being a writer.
To write, or to write well to be more precise, a writer is absolutely required to sit alone for many, many hours, either reading, writing, or simply thinking. Over a period of time this invariably raises one to a level over those who do not cultivate such habits. And by the very nature of such practices, one becomes undeniably aware of this rise.
Knowledge alone is powerless. The ability to effectively apply knowledge is where the power lies. The propensity of those who choose to invest time in devouring as much knowledge as they can realistically ingest, then digest this knowledge, effectively choreograph it to express how they interpret the world: their dreams, desires and fears, and artfully impress the inner workings of their minds upon a receptive audience, births omnipotence. Legions of swords have been inspired, tricked, driven, have fallen by the millions and died forgotten, against a few mighty pens.
It’s not difficult to imagine how the ego of the wordsmith can swell with such a sense of importance. Especially the ego of a successful writer. Not one person since the birth of words would have been even close to accurately remembered, regardless of their deeds, if those deeds hadn’t been recorded by some scribe or another. You see how this sense of self-importance feeds on itself?
Lonely authors, for they all are, sit solitary with their cerebral synapses day after day, decade after decade, if it lasts that long, wrestling with the inner workings of their minds. And it’s torture. Not being able to vocalize one’s thoughts to an understanding audience is about as frustrating a curse as any fairy-tale villain ever damned anyone with. All life after being cursed with true thought is spent looking in from the outside. Or out from the inside. The adjustment period epitomizes loneliness, the degree of which is worse the younger the age at which one is afflicted. Often it is fatal.
Eventually, if a person survives long enough, one realizes how fortunate one is to be cut from a different cloth than all the rest. After that realization, one often wonders why there was any doubt about it at all. I mean, look at them!
By and large, the masses are, and have always been, knuckle-dragging troglodytes. Born to be led. A great unwashed horde of mindless followers, too stupid to even be aware of their own blissful ignorance. An ignorance so complete it has them convinced of a superiority over the other unwitting monkeys they’re pitted against by their faceless, soulless masters. The fools! How can one resist feeling superior to sheep that are too afraid or lazy to do their own thinking, and are fiercely proud of their stupidity?
Humanity is the worst practical joke in the universe. A tragic comedy of epic proportions. I can’t even beginto imagine what the punch-line to this thing will be.
Are you beginning to understand why many able writers get swept away in exaggerated forms of self-worth, or at least disdain for their fellow man? When comparing themselves with the overwhelmingly high percentages of human chaff, not developing an inflated ego is something only true masters of the self could ever hope to achieve. And this has to be an indescribably strong desire from the outset, or an innate personal drive towards humility at a cellular level. I'm not personally burdened with such handicaps. I would rather spend millions on a dog-shelter than waste a fiver on most people, hands down. It’s not even a choice. In my mind, misanthropy has a multitude of marvellous merits.
Every person feels a need for interaction with others of the species at some point or another, and most continue seeking these interactions no matter how costly or damaging they are, or have been in the past. It defies logic.
Personally, I won’t conform to some unwritten rule stating that damaging sentimentality is worth more than logical solitude. Everyone is badly flawed, and the risk of investing personal resources to develop some sort of relationship, with zero guarantees it will ever pay off, is not worth it. I've spent too much energy overcoming my own shortcomings to waste any time on people who will likely never have the courage or fortitude to overcome their own. I have all the people in my life I care too, too many really, and I have no interest in inviting more unnecessary complication into my life.
One day I hope to be a legitimate writer, a lasting one, one who will have left a few words worthy of remembering. It’s one of the very few things I care to contribute to my species. May I live up to my own expectations.