When writing, one must enter into both an inquisitive and arrogant mindset simultaneously.
Inquisitive, because all writing begins (and often finishes) with a question mark.
Arrogant, because all writing is ludicrously self-interested; all writing must enjoy itself so much that it’s virtually narcissistic — just look who you’re competing with! Chekhov, Steinbeck, Rand! Dostoevsky! And the list goes on…
Who dares proclaim that their thoughts should be heard, when the richest insights into human life lay just several shelves away?
The reader could be reading a timeless classic, but here they are, about to read you!
Who the hell are you?
“I am somebody worth reading, more than any other writer dead or alive!”
That is the gospel all writers must subscribe to.
I know of no competition fiercer than the world of ideas. If competition requires an aggressive spirit, then there must not be no such thing as a ‘humble’ writer. If there have been any humble writers, we know of them only by a lack of their work.