Praise Will Lead You To Vanity

I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers. — John Berryman.

I heartily admit that I love praise for my writing. Over my life I loved praise for just about anything I did or accomplished. I know very few people who are indifferent to praise. I also react poorly to harsh criticism, always have. Fortunately sports taught me to always listen to criticism as the best way to improve, but it still didn’t stop criticism from hurting.

Berryman’s words are not limited to writers, I’d say they apply to most all of us. I think what Berryman is trying to say is to get comfortable in your own skin and don’t react too much to either praise or blame from others.

(All that said, if you want to praise my novels feel free to right a review, but if you don’t feel free to keep your opinions to yourself. Just kidding of course.)

Life is a balancing act, and the one thing that will topple us more than a lot is other people’s opinion. We do the best we can do and continue to improve. The opinions of others are not the end all be all. Your self opinion is what is important.


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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