Don’t Be a “Gump”
In both writing and other social circles, I’m seeing more and more of a certain personality type. My coworkers have come to call this personality type, the “Gump.”
They usually have a very outgoing, alpha personality (a bit different than the character portrayed by Tom Hanks). The real reason we call them a “Gump” is because they’ve seen it all, they’ve done it all, and they’ve got to tell their story to every single person they meet. And at the end of each and every anecdote, you’re expecting them to say, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
Many “Gumps” are pathological liars or at least come off as such with all their storytelling so you never know what to believe. They tend to want to highjack every conversation and keep it about how great they are.
I’ve tended to shy away from in-person writers groups the last few years because there’s usually a “Gump” in each one and they like to make the group about them.
If you’re one of these people, please knock it off and check your ego. Let other people get equal face time, and they’ll respect you more. The nice thing about online writers groups is that if someone is bugging you, you can close the damn window.