I Hate The Humble Brag

Even though I’m occasionally guilty of it myself.

So, what do I define as the humble brag?  That post someone makes on a forum about how they think their writing just isn’t good enough even though they keep getting five star reviews.  I mean, doesn’t everybody see the flaws in their writing?

Of course, jaded cynic that I am, I see a post like that and think, “You just wanted everyone to know that you have a bunch of five-star reviews but you didn’t want to come off as a pompous ass, so you cloaked it in a self-deprecating question to the world.  Nice.”

I usually don’t judge people if they do that once or twice.  But daily?  It starts to annoy me.

And sometimes I don’t think people realize they’re doing it.  Especially when it comes to self-publishing.  So, someone will post about how they’re only getting ten sales a day and what are they doing wrong not realizing that probably half of the people reading their post get one sale a day if they’re lucky.

But often it’s a hidden way to promote themselves and the person doing it knows exactly what they’re doing.

(This same person who annoyed me today posted a week ago about whether their ideas were “too controversial.”  To me, a fairly transparent way to get people talking about their book.)

My advice: Don’t do it.  Especially not in a public forum.

If you have a legitimate question for others then just ask it.  And try to keep your specific performance out of it.

And on a tangential subject.  If you participate in forums, try not to be Eeyore.

On one of the forums I lurk there’s a user who is constantly posting things like, “Wow, that’s great that you sold that story.  I wish I could sell a story.  No one likes my stories.  But great for you.”

Just frickin’ congratulate the person.

And on another forum there’s a poster who consistently posts about their lack of sales and how they desperately need money.  In every thread possible.  That might generate a few pity sales here or there, but it’s not going to lead to a long-term writing career.

That person needs to buck up and fix their writing.

Sorry.  Clearly a bit cranky today.  Blame it on the head cold and a puppy that hasn’t been allowed to run around for ten days now.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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