Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ego vs. Confidence

Writing is hard. The writer has to expel some amount of ego and invest it into their words, because if the author does not care, why should the reader? This infusion of ego lends personal confidence to a piece. However, this is a tough line to walk.
In producing Magic content, finding the line between ego and confidence can separate good content from great content. 
People consume Magic content for multiple reasons- they want to get better, a desire for new ideas,  travel tales of the games' top pros. Me? I write about Pauper, a niche format largely played online. No huge prizes and no Pro Tours in exotic locations. 
No guts. No glory. Just Magic.
I write because I care about the format and the community. I have been a part of the Pauper community for the better part of a decade and it is something I understand, so I want to share my passion with the Magic-sphere. When I write, I refuse to submit anything unless I am pleased in what I have produced. My deck may not be the best or my reasoning may not be at the level of Magic's elite, but I can let something go into the aether and be happy with the words. 
To me, this is confidence. I have written something for consumption and therefore is fit to be read (but not necessarily accepted as "good"). I, as an entity, am a minor factor. Do I have some inherent capital from notoriety  Absolutely and I would be crazy to deny this. What I strive against, in my own work, is putting forth an idea, concept, or deck and expecting people to take it as truth because it coming from me
There is another producer of Pauper content out there who seems content to expect his work (largely decks) to be consumed and appreciated on his say so. While his ideas may be sound, they are put forth with the concept of "These are my ideas, so they must be good." 
This annoys me because I used to be the same way. When I first started writing Magic articles, I believed that any idea I had was miles away than that of other people playing Pauper, and that to not understand my clear genius was an insult. It was only after time, many loses, and a break from writing that I realized my error.
Writing with Confidence is believing what you have produced is good. Writing with Ego is believing whatever you produce is good enough for consumption.
This is not to say that ego is bad. As I said above, all writers need an ego. An ego required to believe that the writer is good enough to make something worth the reader's time. When it becomes more about the writer than the reader, that is when the scales tip.
Of course writing this is just an expression of my ego, so there is that. 

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