Is grandiosity hurting your writing?

“Make no little plans,” said the American architect Daniel Burnham. But in writing, deliberate or unconscious grandiosity will bring you nothing but trouble, says this writing expert.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

I’m thinking of the party last fall where I decided to make dessert for 60 people. Not only that, I made sure to give plenty of choice for the dairy-, nut- and gluten-intolerant. What was I trying to prove—sentencing myself to a week of full-time baking?

Twenty years ago, our triplet children were infants and we didn’t hire nearly enough help to give ourselves time to nap or sleep, never mind get anything else done. Yes, we survived, but it was like running a three-year marathon.

The dictionary defines grandiose as pertaining to something or somebody imposing, impressive, magnificent; pompous and showy. (I think of the wedding of Diana, Princess of Wales when I hear this word.) Note the juxtaposition of positive terms—impressive, magnificent—with negative ones: pompous, showy.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.