Is that not the most awesome conversation starter ever?! Needless to say, the discussion got very exciting very quickly. I love debates, so of course, I had to jump in and argue my case. There were quite a lot of comments, so for the sake of simplicity, I've reposted my thoughts on the issue below:
I'm surprised at how many people either "played it safe" with their answers or didn't answer at all. I answered "yes" right away, no hesitation. I don't consider that arrogant at all.
This is an industry that will eat your confidence for breakfast if you let it. In order to even get in the door, I have to convince you (the agent) to believe in my ability to tell a story. I have to sell my point-of-view to you. So, if I'm not confident that my work is better than average, why should I expect you to think it is?
I agree that it's difficult to tell the quality of someone's writing just from blog comments; personal blogs are a better indicator of that. However, I disagree that you can't know whether you're a good writer or not. I've seen enough "average" writing to know I'm better than average.
Do I still have a lot to learn? Absolutely. But I know my skill level. There's a difference between arrogance and confidence. Arrogant writers think they're perfect. Confident writers know where they need improvement, but they also know how they stand out from the crowd.
Hard work and "luck" aside, this business is all about standing out from the crowd.
Great question, Nathan! I had fun thinking about it!
Time for you guys and gals to share now. And let's tweak the question just a tad: Do you think you're better than the average writer...not just on this blog or any blog in particular, but better than the average writer in general? If yes, why? If no, why not?