I wonder how many writers are selfish by nature, and then I wonder just how many admit it. Talking with a friend on MSN, we both write, he's got a book in the publishing cogs so he's ahead of me. I mention that I've been up all night writing the new story that I'm writing for my Second Life Clan's newspaper, and I get the eager 'oh? what's it about? you get far?'. Now, if it had been anyone else I'd have hesitated with answering any of those questions, does that make me a cautious person on grounds of 'I don't want to share my ideas with anyone else in case they "steal" them'? Or does that make me selfish with a work that I'm obviously going to be sharing with others eventually? It's probably a combination of both; I rather imagine that a lot of the big time authors out there can be rather possessive over their work, it's their brainchild after all. Can you imagine being an editor having to slowly convince someone to hand over their work for editting? I don't know about anyone else, but I have a hard enough time letting my family critique my work. This is all assuming of course, that a writer isn't the over-perfectionist who never gets his/her work to a publisher to start with, cos I'm pretty sure there's a lot of them out there (*pointedly ignores self*).
On that note, though, isn't it awesome that people actually publish books at all? Be it novels, poetry, whatnots, it's kinda neat that these people spend so much time and effort putting words to paper and letting other people read them. ^.^ (And yes, I'm so totally ignoring any potential economical benefit and being beautifully idealistic about it all.)