Friday, 15 April 2011

microthought: cleverness

Cleverness is not an advantage in an aspiring writer.

People talk like it's a headstart.

It's as much of a headstart as wearing stilts is to a mountain climber.

You might be two foot closer to the summit, but you're much going to trip yourself up repeatedly.

Cleverness: good or bad?


  1. Cleverness is a a really fucking abstract concept. Most people that say they are clever or act clever are in fact assuming that they are. So clever people don't think they are clever, but they have instead clever ideas and get shit done. Telling them they are clever might just be poisoning the well and tip em' off to something. I'd say you're better without, but with strong work ethic. Because if you're really clever, you need a lot of self-loathing not to turn into a pedant asshole.

  2. Cleverness is good in very small doses. Unadulterated, non-stop cleverness becomes cloying, predictable, and annoying.

  3. following you from lucybird's blog hop! =]

    follow me?

  4. @ Ben: I agree -- you're far better off with work ethic. I don't know if I agree about your last point (self-loathing vs. pednat asshole)... I agree enough to find that hilarious.

    I think lots of clever people know they're clever, though, without contradiction.

    @ Bibliophiliac: Yes! I've had a few books spoiled by the author being clever too much, even though it was partly the cleverness that made me like the author originally.

  5. I've often thought of cleverness as a part of or off-shoot of imagination, though not the same thing. Clever people often come up with the interesting new ideas or solutions to problems. Though I do agree that some clever people not only know they're clever, but show off thier cleverness too.

    I'm stopping by from Lucybird's blog hop.

  6. Hey Loni! i think cleverness and imagination are very closely related -- but i'd say they are different products of the same thing, which iws intelligence. (but then we're into pick-your-own-definition territory, so i'll stop.)