The god complex… sounds like a great title doesn’t it? Well in this case it isn’t, (but you’re welcome to use it) it is a common problem that all writers suffer from at some point or another in their career. When we write we create another world, we control worlds, and the lives of our characters, we know things about them that even they don’t. Essentially we are setting ourselves up as gods when we create our worlds. And some writer’s I’m sad to say let it get to their heads, they start acting like they think they’re better than everyone else, they get a larger than average ego and entitlement attitude. It drives me insane. Don’t get me wrong, there are several authors out there who are really nice and who are down to earth but there are quite a few that I just want to smack upside the head. (I am not condoning violence.) I’m going to start by asking right now that if I ever succumb to the god complex somebody come up and deck me right there because that is not something I want to become.
Authors who suffer from the god complex are the ones that are completely obsessed with profit and not writing. Their writing suffers because they are just writing to close deals and to get rich. Those authors drive me nuts. Almost nobody recovers from a god complex attack. When writers succumb they suffer from a loss of fans, a loss of respect, and a loss of willing publishers. When writers get the god complex they lose touch with their fans. Readers want approachable and real authors, if a writer has a high and mighty attitude readers won’t want to buy the book, unless they’re the kind that just want to read it no matter what. I know that I prefer my authors to at least seem real. When writers lose their fans it is because they have lost the respect of the fans and sometimes of other authors. I may not be officially published but if there is one thing I hate it’s fakes who write for the money because I will buy their expensive book because it looks or sounds good and then I waste my time and money in buying and reading it. When a writer’s fans leave and they lose the respect of other authors as well as the fans and become more and more unpopular their sales will drop. If a writer’s sales suddenly drop their publishing opportunities plummet as well because publishers want to make money from their authors and they can’t do that if no one wants to buy the author’s books.
Here is my way to get over the god complex:
· If you recognize that your writing is suffering and you are suffering from the god complex then do yourself a favor and STOP WRITING!!! Not permanently mind you, just for a couple of weeks to clear your head of it.
· After taking a short sabbatical sit down with an old-fashioned pen and paper. (I know it’s archaic but it cuts out distractions.) Put the pen on the paper and start writing about a spot on the wall or ceiling. It sounds hard and it can be which is why you’re doing it.
· Now once you have written a detailed paragraph about that spot on the wall. I want you to put it aside. Don’t look at it for 24 hours.
· After 24 hours you can go through and edit it. Edit it once a day, every day for a week.
· When that week is over you can do one of two things, compare the first draft and the final or have somebody read the final draft. (Someone you like and who knows you aren’t crazy because this can seem odd to others) if that someone isn’t impressed edit it again for a week and show it to them. If they think it’s improved go ahead and try writing a story again.
· Why do this? You might ask. The answer: it teaches patience and humility, and it gives you a drive to succeed at the impossible because if you don’t make that boring spot on the wall interesting then you can’t write a story. (unless you are a cheater) In making that spot on the wall interesting it also shows you what you can do. (If it happens to give you a bigger ego you’re doing it wrong because the point of this is that you will never really be able to make something like this interesting to the average reader.)
· When you do inevitably start writing again do yourself a favor and look at it every day and ask yourself before sending a book or story to your agent or publisher or whatever: is it as good or better than your spot on the wall essay?
· This is not the only option for curing the god complex, just the one that I use.
There are several other problems with a god complex however that effect aspects of life other than writing that I don’t feel comfortable trying to offer a solution to. Whatever you do if you are an author with a god complex and you know it or even a non-writer get rid of it if you can.
· Don’t write for fame and fortune there are some writers out there who only write for the money it gets them and it sometimes makes their fans angry at them. I have the first book in a series in paper edition and I really liked it and couldn’t wait for the next book to come out. I am very OCD about having all the books in a series in the same format and this author decided that he would see more of the profits in eBook so he hasn’t published any of the following books in a paper format of any kind and I can’t explain how mad it makes me that he did that. I firmly believe that writing isn’t something you do to make money. It’s an art form and should be done for the sake of doing it. If you can make money from it, great go ahead, but make sure that the money doesn’t become your focus or your work or your fan base will suffer for it.
· Don’t elevate yourself above your readers because when you do that your writing loses touch and your fans will leave you. Keep it real and people will like you more. If a fan emails you or writes you try to write them back if you can, talk to them and interact. Acknowledge that they exist.
· If you use the above remedy for a god complex ask yourself: can I make this as interesting as my spot on the wall essay? If you do your fans will love it.