Today it seems like everyone’s got a laser focus on everything that’s wrong, as if we can’t do anything right.

Not hard to see that playing in the newspapers.

So I always have to put on my Critical Thinking Cat and ask what reasons they might have focusing that direction. Like selling papers. Getting clicks.

For us, as human beings, it’s worse because we start seeing the world as everything being wrong and there is no hope.

The problem is none of it true.

It’s easy to find fault

Sliding into the fiction writing side here since it’s much less of a lighting rod than any topics that occurred to you.

When I first got online, I found all these message boards with other writers. I could learn!

So we all posted portions of our stories for critique. We were all like a bunch of puppies tumbling over each other trying to get the food bowl at the same time.

We didn’t know much of anything about writing, but we could nitpick about the sentences.

You know, like an English teacher grading a paper.

It looked like the way to learn to write, so I took this to books I was reading. I think every writer does this.

All books are terrible

Suddenly I was really depressed about writing. It just seemed like no one was writing the good books like I was reading when I grew up.

It was very discouraging.

One day at work, someone dumped their old collection of Nick Carter books on the break tables.

Ah ha!

I snatched those up, intending to prove my point that books had gone downhill.

News flash!

They’d gotten better.

It was my thinking that was the problem.

I was finding so much fault that I wasn’t see what was good. Critical Thinking Cat had overbalanced into Critical Cat.

So I decided on my next book, I was going to read and enjoy it. Turned out it was a runaway best sellers that writers loathe.

“Why is this a best seller?” they cried. “Looks at all the flaws!”

The grammar wasn’t perfect. Why was that comma there? It didn’t belong there! The sentences….they’re horrible. What was he thinking?

(No citation. I just made this up)

Which led them down a darker path.

The readers were stupid for not seeing how flawed it was.

The anger because they weren’t seeing the “obvious” flaws.

Finding Fault Leads to Arrogance

Writing Nerd wandering in because the post went in a surprising direction. I didn’t know this until I wrote it.

Arrogance–and pride really–pops up when we get so cocooned into seeing the individual twigs on the tree that we can’t even see there is a tree, much less a lush, green forest.

The internet hasn’t helped because it makes it impossible to control the flow of all this information.

Instead, everything gets repeated until the point it looks like fact–and isn’t.

Things are seldom black and white.

Additional Reading