Pride and Pretentiousness

Writers are like ice cream; flavorful, varied and the majority – full of nuts. As a proud member of the macadamia enhanced, I regard my critique partners as manna from Heaven, each more talented than the next – with one disturbing exception.

Oh, the shivers this man brings me. (And not in a shirtless, yummy Hugh Jackman way.) No, this particular member of my online writer’s group routinely feels the need to tout his publishing success, (translation: one article in The New Yorker circa 1986) as the benchmark we, the mere mortals of cyber-lit world can only hope to one day attain. For now, let’s refer to him as Tolstoy; pretty much sums up the ego.


Tolstoy claims to be a tenured English professor; although for all we know he could be Inmate #432 at Rikers Island. Profession aside, his condescending attitude defeats the group’s mission: offering insightful feedback and constructive criticism to aspiring writers in an encouraging environment. (We share snack ideas, too. Tolstoy hates that! And Writegirl221 – I made the Heath Bar Brownies – can I get an Amen! Thx!)

For instance, I started today’s post with a simile. Tolstoy would gag in admonishment at the obviously pedestrian lead approach. Gag away big guy; it’s the first week of school, you’re lucky I remember punctuation. (Sometimes I just want to grab his goofy ascot and twist, HARD. OK – no idea if he wears an ascot, but that’s how I picture him.)


Bottom line, if your support system offers more hurt than help – writer or real world – make a change. And if one bad apple spoils the pie – time to vote him or her off the island! Oh, and no worries, Tolstoy won’t read this. “Blogs are an outlet for undereducated, narcissistic type personalities craving attention.” (Admit it – you hate him now, too?!)
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7 comments on “Pride and Pretentiousness

  1. LOL! Yes, most of us who belong to critique groups know exactly what you mean. And voting a member off the island is usually the best solution or the group may not survive.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Patricia! And yes, we are planning a cyber revolt!

  3. janesadek says:

    Macadamia enhanced. You have officially made my day. Thank you!!

  4. Glad to be of service, Jane!

  5. kimwriter15 says:

    Oh, yeah! Been there and done that. Only my group was not online. Ran into a couple of Tolstoys.

  6. kimwriter15 says:

    Yeah, I agree with Jane. Loved "Macadamia-enhanced"! LOL

  7. Thanks for stopping by Kim! (And we're all a little nutty! Makes great stories!)

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