Sunday, January 29, 2012


We don't normally think of writers as greedy types. But rest assured, they can be every bit as greedy as any Wall Street banker.

Writers can be greedy for other peoples' success. They can be jealous of colleagues who have great book deals. They can be envious of writers with more talent. They can be greedy for critical acclaim, or greedy for the respect of their peers.

They can be greedy by always needing more fans, readers, pageviews, ad clicks, inbound links, search traffic, likes, +1's or whatever other pointless metric that supposedly measures your worth as an online writer.

There's literally no limit to the forms greed can take in writing. You can be greedy by expecting success without having to work for it. You can have delusions of grandeur about the quality of your work, and greedily think you've arrived as a writer--even though you still suck.

You can be greedy by giving up after a few failures or rejections. After all, if your writing career was meant to be, it would have been easier, right? Right?

Worst of all, you can be greedy for ideas and plagiarize material, something we've sadly seen from fallen authors like Chris Anderson, Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

At least Wall Street's greed is predictable, and it takes just one form: the desire for money.